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How much is your personal information worth on dark web?

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How much is your personal information worth on dark web?

While privacy is priceless for most individuals, it sells for pretty cheap on the dark web. 

According to Whizcase, years of curating your social media page for your close network could be up for sale for as cheap as $14 for your Facebook log-in in 2023.

And that’s just the beginning. Every access point from Reddit to LinkedIn can be purchased for a price, $6 and $45, respectively.

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Person on the dark web (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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How does your info end up on the dark web?

Creating unique and complex passwords for all your online accounts is not just a kitschy tactic to get you to spring for a password manager. Passwords that are simple can be cracked or guessed by diligent hackers, and if you repeat that password across multiple accounts, then all those accounts are also in jeopardy. 

Infuriatingly enough, you can make the concerted effort to create a complex and unique password for all your accounts and even use a password manager, but you will still have your information leaked if the company you are logging onto gets infiltrated. Unfortunately, being notified of having your information compromised in a data breach is more common than not. 

In addition to having your information unwittingly floating around the dark web to the highest bidder, if your device gets hacked and malware or viruses are installed on it, then your log-ins and passwords can be stolen and sold, too.

MORE: WAS YOUR PRIVATE DATA BEING SOLD ON THIS DARK WEB MARKETPLACE?

dark web data

Data on the dark web (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

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What should I do if my information ends up on the dark web?

When you get the inevitable notification or letter stating that your information has been compromised, there are action steps you can take to minimize damage and maximize the prevention of future problems.

1. Log out of all devices

Instagram is an example of a social media account that lets you see where and what devices your account is currently open on. They also provide you with the option of logging out of all devices so that your account is not accessible by third parties or on devices that aren’t yours. This is especially helpful if your account is open on a device that might be yours but might also have malware or a virus.

How to view your account’s recent log-in activity on Instagram 

You can view a list of devices that have recently logged into your Instagram account at any time. If you don’t recognize a recent log-in, you can log out of that location or device and let us know that the log-in wasn’t you. Here’s how to do it. 

  • Click the profile icon on the bottom right of the screen
  • Click the three horizontal lines in the upper right
  • Tap Accounts Center
  • Scroll down and tap Password and security
  • Tap Where you’re logged in to view your recent log-in activity for accounts in this Accounts Center
  • To log out of devices you’re currently logged into, tap on one of your accounts, then scroll down and tap Select devices to log out.
  • Select the devices you’d like to log out, then tap Log out.

2. Change your password

If you manage your passwords or have them saved to autofill on browsers like Safari and Chrome, you will get updated if your password has been compromised, weak, or reused. Because having complex, unique passwords for each online account is critical to keeping your information online safe, password managers can help with generating those as well as managing them for you. Get more details about my best expert-reviewed password managers of 2024 here.

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3. Turn on two-factor authentication

This step can be annoying when you just want to quickly check an update or post a quick video, but it can be your saving grace when someone has figured out your log-in and is trying to guess your password. If your two-factor authentication is on, you have the opportunity to get alerted of any log-ins or password reset requests. It gives you the opportunity to secure your account. 

4. Install strong antivirus software

While you can’t control what companies do with your information, you can control what information gets out from your personal devices by installing good antivirus software. It can “catch” malware or virus before it gets unleashed on your device and siphon your password and other private information. Get my picks for the best 2024 antivirus protection winners for your Windows, Mac, Android & iOS devices.

5. Remove yourself from the internet

While no service promises to remove all your data from the internet, having a removal service is great if you want to constantly monitor and automate the process of removing your information from hundreds of sites continuously over a longer period of time. Check out my top picks for removal services here.

6. Get identity theft protection

Many identity theft protection services provide dark web monitoring services. They continually monitor the dark web to see if any crucial pieces of personal information like your email addresses or social security number end up compromised or up for sale on the dark web. Getting those alerts immediately gives you the opportunity to act faster and take the other steps listed above. They can also assist you in freezing your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals. See my tips and best picks on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

DARK web data 2

Data on the dark web (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Kurt’s key takeaways

In the digital age, where our personal data can be as fleeting as a password, it’s a stark reminder that what we hold dear isn’t always locked down tight. It’s unsettling to think that years of personal posts and connections could be reduced to a mere transaction on the dark web. But knowledge is power, and being informed is the first step in strengthening our digital defenses. So, let’s keep those passwords complex, our log-ins secure and our vigilance high.

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What role do you think tech companies should play in protecting your data, and how does this shape your expectations of online services? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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Technology

What exactly is a data breach and why should I care?

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What exactly is a data breach and why should I care?

Data breaches have become common, and if you’ve actively used online services in the past year, you might have been affected by them. For example, the Advance Auto Parts breach exposed more than 2.3 million users’ personal information, while a recent AT&T incident allowed hackers to access around six months of customer call and text interactions. But what do bad actors do with all this data?

John from Jackson, Mississippi, asked a similar question that I want to highlight and address because it helps all of us:

“What do you mean when you say a company has exposed 2.3 million or whatever in a data breach? This happens often, but there is never any follow-up. It’s like throwing address labels in a trash can, and then they are carried to the landfill. So? What really happens with a data breach?”

I get what you’re saying, John. Data breaches make headlines, but you rarely hear about the fallout. It’s tough to link a specific breach to a specific problem later on. Below is a detailed look at what a data breach actually means.

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Illustration of a hacker at work (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Data breach explained

A data breach occurs when an unauthorized person gains access to information that is meant to be confidential, private, protected or sensitive. Think of it this way: You have personal information that you trusted a friend with, but while sharing it, someone who wasn’t supposed to know it overheard it.

A real-life example is the AT&T data breach mentioned earlier. Your call logs and text interactions that were meant to be private and which you trusted AT&T to protect ended up in the hands of hackers. These details can now be used by bad actors to scam you.

Data breaches can happen in a few ways. Hackers might target specific organizations or launch broad attacks hoping to steal certain kinds of data. They can also use targeted cyberattacks to go after specific individuals.

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Sometimes, data breaches occur due to honest mistakes or oversights by employees. Weaknesses in an organization’s systems and infrastructure can also leave them vulnerable to data breaches.

hacker on keyboard

Illustration of a hacker at work (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MASSIVE DATA BREACH EXPOSES 3 MILLION AMERICANS’ PERSONAL INFORMATION TO CYBERCRIMINALS

Anatomy of a deliberate data breach

Here’s what typically happens in a data breach that’s deliberately caused:

Research: Cybercriminals often begin by identifying a target, such as a large corporation like AT&T, focusing on the type of data they want, which could include personal customer information. They search for weaknesses in the company’s security, which might involve exploiting system flaws or targeting network infrastructure.

Attack: The attackers make their initial move using either a network or social attack. Common methods include phishing attacks, where individuals are tricked into revealing personal information; malware attacks that can steal or encrypt data; and denial-of-service attacks that disrupt services. These tactics can compromise the personal information of customers, such as names, addresses, phone numbers and even payment information.

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Exfiltration: Once inside the company’s systems, cybercriminals tunnel their way to confidential data. For individuals, this means that their personal information can be extracted and sold on the dark web, used for identity theft or for other malicious purposes. The impact on individuals can be severe, including financial loss, damage to credit scores and the emotional stress of having personal information exposed and misused.

hacker typing

Illustration of a hacker at work (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

WORLD’S LARGEST STOLEN PASSWORD DATABASE UPLOADED TO CRIMINAL FORUM

What happens once the hackers have the data?

Once the hackers obtain protected and confidential data, they have various ways to profit from it. They can use compromised data for illegal activities, including identity theft, financial fraud, spamming or even extortion. Information such as email addresses and phone numbers can be used in phishing scams.

Sometimes, this data is also posted on dark web forums for sale. It can be purchased by other criminals, who may use it for various illicit activities. Just as you don’t hear about every burglary, homicide or battery, you don’t hear about each instance of these criminal activities.

They only make headlines when something significant occurs, such as the incident where hackers scammed a Colorado woman out of $25,000 or when a man was arrested for scamming a Kalispell, Montana, woman of $150,000.

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Data breaches impact not only customers but also the companies involved. These companies may face government fines or lawsuits. For example, AT&T is currently dealing with a class-action lawsuit due to a security breach in 2022 that exposed months’ worth of data from nearly all its customers. Similarly, T-Mobile is facing a lawsuit related to a data breach that affected millions of people.

hacker at work

Illustration of a hacker at work (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

CYBERCRIMINALS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF CROWDSTRIKE-LINKED GLOBAL COMPUTER OUTAGE

How to protect yourself from data breaches?

It’s primarily the responsibility of companies or online services to keep your data safe, but if it gets exposed, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Change your passwords

If hackers have recorded your passwords, they could access your online accounts and steal your data or money. ON ANOTHER DEVICE (i.e., your laptop or desktop), you should change your passwords for all your important accounts, such as email, banking, social media, etc. You want to do this on another device so that the hacker isn’t recording you setting up your new password on your hacked device. And you should also use strong and unique passwords that are hard to guess or crack. You can also use a password manager to generate and store your passwords securely.

2. Enable two-factor authentication

Activate two-factor authentication (2FA) for an extra layer of security on all your important accounts, including email, banking and social media. 2FA requires you to provide a second piece of information, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your password when logging in. This makes it significantly harder for hackers to access your accounts, even if they have your password. Enabling 2FA can greatly reduce the risk of unauthorized access and protect your sensitive data.

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3. Monitor your accounts and transactions

You should check your online accounts and transactions regularly for any suspicious or unauthorized activity. If you notice anything unusual, immediately report it to the service provider or authorities. You should also review your credit reports and scores to see if there are any signs of identity theft or fraud.

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4. Contact your bank and credit card companies

If hackers have obtained your bank or credit card information, they could use it to make purchases or withdrawals without your consent. You should inform your bank and credit card companies of the situation. They can help you freeze or cancel your cards, dispute any fraudulent charges and issue new cards for you.

You should also contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or TransUnion) and request a fraud alert to be placed on your credit file. This will make it more difficult for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name without verification. You can even freeze your credit, if need be.

5. Use personal data removal services

Consider investing in personal data removal services that specialize in continuously monitoring and removing your personal information from various online databases and websites. These services employ advanced tools and techniques to identify and eliminate your data from people-search sites, data brokers and other platforms where your information might be exposed. By using a data removal service, you can minimize the risk of identity theft and fraud, especially after a data breach. Additionally, these services often provide ongoing monitoring and alerts, keeping you informed of any new instances of your data appearing online and taking immediate action to remove it. Check out my top picks for data removal services here.

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6. Sign up for identity theft protection

Identity theft protection companies can monitor personal information like your home title, Social Security Number, phone number and email address and alert you if it is being used to open an account. They can also assist you in freezing your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further unauthorized use by criminals. See my tips and best picks on how to protect yourself from identity theft.

7. Alert your contacts

If hackers have accessed your email or social media accounts, they could use them to send spam or phishing messages to your contacts. They could also impersonate you and ask for money or personal information. You should alert your contacts and warn them not to open or respond to any messages from you that seem suspicious or unusual.

Kurt’s key takeaway

The impact of a data breach may not be immediate, but once your data is on the internet, it can be misused by bad actors. They can steal your hard-earned money, cause emotional and mental harm or affect your loved ones. So, even if you don’t see the immediate impact of a data breach, take action. Ensure your devices are protected, and keep a close eye on your bank accounts.

Have you ever noticed unusual activity in your accounts after a data breach was reported? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover.

Follow Kurt on his social channels:

Answers to the most asked CyberGuy questions:

Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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AMD is slightly delaying its Ryzen 9000 desktop CPUs ‘out of an abundance of caution’

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AMD is slightly delaying its Ryzen 9000 desktop CPUs ‘out of an abundance of caution’

AMD was set to launch its new Zen 5 processors on July 31st, including the 16-core, 32-thread Ryzen 9 9950X, a chip it’s calling “the world’s most powerful desktop consumer processor.” Instead, it’s now announcing a one- to two-week delay “out of an abundance of caution.” The Ryzen 7 9700X and Ryzen 5 9600X will now launch on August 8th, while the Ryzen 9 9950X and Ryzen 9 9900X will go on sale on August 15th.

This is not because AMD’s found any issues with the actual chips, spokesperson Stacy MacDiarmid tells The Verge. Rather, AMD discovered some of its chips didn’t go through all of the proper testing procedures, and the company wants to make sure they do.

Here’s the full statement from AMD computing and graphics SVP Jack Huynh:

We appreciate the excitement around Ryzen 9000 series processors. During final checks, we found the initial production units that were shipped to our channel partners did not meet our full quality expectations. Out of an abundance of caution and to maintain the highest quality experiences for every Ryzen user, we are working with our channel partners to replace the initial production units with fresh units. As a result, there will be a short delay in retail availability. The Ryzen 7 9700X and Ryzen 5 9600X processors will now go on sale on August 8th and the Ryzen 9 9950X and Ryzen 9 9900X processors will go on-sale on August 15th. We pride ourselves in providing a high-quality experience for every Ryzen user, and we look forward to our fans having a great experience with the new Ryzen 9000 series. 

AMD already recalled the chips that needed the additional testing before they could go on sale, and it sounds like that testing is going smoothly; AMD’s engineers are confident the chips won’t be delayed further, according to MacDiarmid.

AMD’s new desktop chips also include the Ryzen 9 9900X, Ryzen 7 9700X, and Ryzen 5 9600X.
Image: AMD
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Tom’s Hardware reports that those crashing Intel chips have been permanently degraded and will need to be returned to Intel; we’ve reached out to Intel with a list of questions about how it’s handling the situation.

AMD is about to launch its Zen 5 laptop chips, too, codenamed Strix Point and formally known as Ryzen AI 9 300. AMD recently revealed a new higher-end chip in that lineup, the Ryzen AI 9 HX 375, with a more powerful 55 TOPS NPU.

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Fox News AI Newsletter: Waymo’s robotaxi launches citywide in San Francisco

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Fox News AI Newsletter: Waymo’s robotaxi launches citywide in San Francisco

Welcome to Fox News’ Artificial Intelligence newsletter with the latest AI technology advancements.

IN TODAY’S NEWSLETTER:

– Robots take the wheel as San Francisco opens streets to driverless taxis

– FTC probes AI-powered ‘surveillance pricing’ at Mastercard, JPMorgan Chase, McKinsey and others

– US Air Force’s XQ-67A drone thinks, flies, acts on its own

Waymo autonomous vehicle  (Waymo)

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DRIVERLESS TAXIS ARRIVE: The future of urban transportation is here, and it’s taking the form of sleek, autonomous vehicles traveling through city streets. Across the United States, self-driving car companies are racing to revolutionize how we move, promising safer roads, reduced traffic and a new era of mobility. But it’s in San Francisco that this future is suddenly now a reality for thousands.

‘SHADOWY ECOSYSTEM’: The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday announced that it launched a probe of eight companies that offer “surveillance pricing” tools that use artificial intelligence and other technology to analyze consumer data to help set price targets for products and services.

air force drone 1

US Air Force’s XQ-67A drone (AFRL)

AI IN THE SKY: The U.S. Air Force has just unveiled a new aircraft that’s turning heads and raising eyebrows across the globe.

ACCIDENT AVOIDANCE: Developed by Maine-based entrepreneur Josh Fox, Survue is an innovative device that looks to address the limitations of existing bicycle radar systems. While conventional systems primarily focus on the speed of approaching vehicles, Survue takes a more holistic approach by considering multiple factors to assess potential risks.

AI bicycle safety device could warn of dangerous car collision

AI-based bicycle safety device (Survue) (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Subscribe now to get the Fox News Artificial Intelligence Newsletter in your inbox.

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