Dark web monitoring is a service that scans the dark web for signs that your personal information is being used fraudulently.

While the dark web serves many legitimate functions, the anonymity of it also attracts people who are buying and selling illegal goods and services – including stolen personal information.

With so many data breaches exposing personal information of millions of Americans every year, dark web monitoring is a helpful tool that can alert you when your information is put at risk, so you can take the necessary steps to protect your identity.

How Does Dark Web Monitoring Work?

Dark web monitoring uses a process called “scraping” that scans hundreds of chat rooms, websites and peer-to-peer networks that deal with stolen personally identifiable information (PII) such as:

Is Dark Web Monitoring Legal?

Monitoring the dark web is legal, but accessing illegal areas is not. Reliable dark web monitoring services only analyze publicly available data and do not engage in any illegal activities. It’s crucial to choose a reputable and ethical service.

How Does Personal Information Get on the Dark Web?


One way that personal information can end up on the dark web is through phishing, which is a tactic used by cybercriminals to trick people into giving away their personal information by posing as a legitimate entity, such as a bank or social media site.

Malware, Loaders and Botnets

Cybercriminals can also use various forms of malware, such as keyloggers, loaders, and botnets, to steal personal information and transfer it to the dark web.

Insecure Networks

Insecure networks, including public Wi-Fi networks and unsecured websites, can also be a source of personal information that ends up on the dark web if an attacker gains access to them.

Vulnerabilities and Exploits

Another way that personal information can end up on the dark web is through vulnerabilities and exploits in software and operating systems that allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to a computer or network and steal sensitive data.


Keylogging is a technique used by cybercriminals to steal personal information by recording every keystroke made on a victim’s computer, allowing the attacker to capture login credentials, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.

Screen Scraping

Cybercriminals can use screen scraping to capture the information displayed on a victim’s computer screen, either by using malware that records screenshots or by accessing an unsecured website or application that displays sensitive information.

Benefits of Dark Web Monitoring

Dark web monitoring offers several key benefits, including:

Threat Hunting & Intelligence

By monitoring the dark web, organizations and individuals can identify potential threats and vulnerabilities, track threat actors and criminal organizations, and prevent stolen information from being used fraudulently.

Faster Incident Response

Dark web monitoring helps organizations detect and respond to potential threats faster, allowing them to mitigate damage and prevent financial losses.

24/7 Surveillance

Dark web monitoring provides continuous visibility into potential threats and vulnerabilities, with real-time alerts and notifications when sensitive information is found. This allows organizations and individuals to stay vigilant and respond quickly to emerging threats.

Undermines Risks

Dark web monitoring helps identify and mitigate potential threats before they can cause significant harm, reducing the likelihood and potential impact of a data breach or other security incident.

Prevents Data Breach

Dark web monitoring helps prevent data breaches by identifying compromised data and credentials on the dark web, allowing organizations and individuals to take immediate action to mitigate the risk.

Types of Identity Theft that Can Happen on the Dark Web

Here’s a list of the most common types of identity theft that can happen from leaked information:

Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud occurs when someone uses your card without your consent. Even if your physical card is not present, a criminal can still make unauthorized transactions using your credit card number, security code, and PIN.

SSN Identity Theft

Your SSN can be a powerful asset for criminals, especially if they have other pieces of information about you. With your SSN, an identity thief can do things like take out loans, not pay the bills and negatively impact your credit.

Tax Identity Theft

Tax identity theft happens when criminals use your sensitive information to file a tax return in your name and collect a refund. You can identify tax identity fraud when you file a tax return and find that someone has already submitted it.

What to Do If Your Information Is on the Dark Web

If you find your information on the dark web, take action to minimize the damage:

  • Change passwords and use two-factor authentication on affected accounts.
  • Inform financial institutions and monitor your credit report for suspicious activity. Consider freezing your credit or placing a fraud alert to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Be cautious of suspicious emails and phishing attempts and avoid sharing sensitive information with unverified sources.
  • Consider using a reputable dark web monitoring service to detect future breaches or identity theft.

How IdentityIQ Can Help Protect Your Personal Information

It is crucial to have identity monitoring that scans the dark web for your personal information. With IdentityIQ identity theft protection, you can get alerts in case your personal information is at risk, and you can also benefit from identity theft insurance and restoration assistance in case you fall victim to an identity thief.