GREENSBORO, NC -- It's where terrorists exchange plans, child pornography lives, weapons and drugs are sold and where stolen data is too. The dark web is a real thing and chances are your financial info is there. Is it there due to the Equifax data breach? Maybe.
But really, there have been so many data breaches, cyber security expert Joseph Steinberg gives this perspective, “it’s hard to believe that anyone who has used the internet for any significant amount of time doesn't have some data out there.”
Ok, so your data is out there on the dark web. Experian, another credit monitoring company, is offering to scan the dark web for free to see if your info is there and help you monitor it. Are the criminals going to show you all their secret hiding places? Steinberg says, probably not.
“There is no automated way to look out and find all the possible sites where this data is located. So I'm somewhat skeptical of the service to begin with.”
Me too, which is why 2WTK is going to remind you again to put a freeze on your credit. Everyone should do this. A credit freeze is the best way to protect your financial identity. It keeps anyone from opening up lines of credit using your name and information.
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You need to freeze your credit with all three credit bureaus.
NOTE: You can temporarily “thaw” your freeze so you can get a car loan or a credit card. To do that you’ll need to get a PIN from each of the bureaus. Often, they do this by mail. And if you lose your PIN they can charge you to get it back.
In North Carolina...it's free! And one more thing, don't think one year of free credit monitoring will keep you safe because your information doesn't change and the bad guys have nothing to do but wait.
“One year of monitoring doesn't do anything. Criminals know not to use the data in the first year. They wait. They see the announcement --hey we're protecting everyone for a year--and they'll wait for 13 months and use the data.”