Do you know that only 4% of the internet is accessible via search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo? The remaining 96% of the internet is called the “deep web” and “dark web.” These parts of the internet aren’t listed by search engines.

Deep web pages are URLs that can’t be found through a search engine. The dark web isn’t indexed by search engines either. The dark web also can’t be accessed through standard web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

A lot of people tend to use both terms interchangeably, but while they both involve sites that aren’t publicly accessible, the dark web specifically refers to parts of the web where illegal activity can take place. It’s a hidden network of websites that requires a special browser to access.

The dark web can attract cybercriminals involved in illegal activity – including identity theft.

As a result of data breaches, identity thieves can find all kinds of sensitive information for sale on the dark web. Information such names, email addresses, W-2 forms, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, usernames, passwords and more can be found for prices ranging from under $1 to more than $64.

When cybercriminals buy your information, it can be used to open new credit cards in your name, make fraudulent purchases, change your billing address, obtain a new driver’s license and more.

Identity theft and credit monitoring is important, especially if you feel you might be the victim of a data breach. Identity theft protection can help by scanning the internet and dark web for your name and information and alert you to possible suspicious activity.