How to protect your passwords and prevent them from being sold on the dark web

    New research shows that 15 billion passwords are available on the dark web, and now local businesses need to take greater steps to protect their data.

    “This is such a huge problem, literally affecting everyone. Yet, so few people are aware of it,” said data security expert Tony Capewell from Your Cloud Works, an IT support company based in Milton Keynes. 

    “Recent research has shown there are now 15 billion passwords available on the dark web. 

    “Most of them are available free; although highly desirable logins such as banking details, can be sold for up to £55.”

    The dark web is a part of the internet that cannot be reached by using normal browsers. And it’s not indexed by search engines.

    It is where people can buy and sell illegal items, especially personal data. Passwords and login details are frequently stolen by hackers, where they into large companies’ systems and download huge databases, says Your Cloud Works.

    Twitter suffered a very high-profile hack last month. Three men were charged in a Twitter hack that saw the accounts of high profile individuals being compromised including Barack Obama and Elon Musk. 

    “If your password is stolen and you use the same password across multiple systems, that’s when you can quickly get into really big problems,” Tony added.

    “If hackers can use stolen data to get into one system used by your business, they can sometimes leverage this to get into other systems. The worst thing they can do is access your email, as this lets them reset passwords and monitor all your communications.”

    He concluded: “The only way around this is to do two things. First, you should use a different randomly generated password for every login. And second, use a password manager to keep track of all these passwords for you.”

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