personal finance

Are your details being traded on dark web by scammers? Britons urged to remain vigilant

Is there a reason you are being targeted?

There is the possibility that you have clicked on a link and a hacker may have accessed your information through a download of malware (a piece of software that can upload viruses or extract data) on your computer. If you think this has happened do a scan on your computer and ensure you change all your passwords. Try to stay calm and don’t react to the criminal’s words.

Sadly, criminals traffic personal data over the dark web so your information may be sold to other criminals. It’s important you stay vigilant about any communication you are unsure of.

The good news is, that the more likely reason for you receiving this communication is that a criminal is looking for opportunities to exploit anyone. A sort of hit-and-hope methodology. The criminals play on the fact that they can create panic in people and this panic provokes a reaction.

What should you do?

If you receive an email like this, don’t panic. Change your passwords quoted in the email and check if any of your other passwords have been compromised using the Pwned Passwords checker.

If you check your passwords and they don’t come up as compromised, this does not mean it’s a good password, just that it’s not indexed on the above site. If you’re not already using a password manager, go and download one and change all your passwords to strong and unique ones. Most web browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge have free password managers that can be used and are secure.

Ensure your new passwords are secure and use a password manager to organise and securely store your passwords. Try not to use the same one for everything.

Scan your device for malware and ensure your anti-virus protection is up to date.


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