The numerous recent data breaches have exposed the personal information of millions of people and put them at risk of having their information bought and sold on the dark web. The dark web is where cybercriminals go to anonymously buy and sell information – such as names, passwords, credit card numbers, and Social Security numbers – exposed through a data breach.

Credit and identity theft protection can include monitoring that scans the dark web for information related to your identity. But, what do you do if your information is found on the dark web?

If your personal information is found through a dark web scan, your identity is at risk. Financial fraud such as phony loans or credit cards in your name could occur as well as the use of your identity for criminal acts, false employment, or fraudulent tax returns. If your personal information is compromised, you should consider freezing your credit. Freezing your credit report blocks creditors lenders, and other organizations from accessing your credit information so identity thieves are unable to open loans or credit cards using your identity. You are still able to pull your own credit report.

You also should continue to utilize credit and identity theft monitoring and protection so you can monitor your credit report and receive alerts when there is suspicious activity, which allows you to act quickly and protect your identity. Active monitoring and continued dark web scanning are the most comprehensive way to find out if your information continues to be on the dark web.

The dark web poses a threat to consumers everywhere. Stay vigilant with credit and identity theft monitoring and protection.