Under the Dark Web: How your personal information is being used

The Dark Web is a part of the Internet that is hidden and can only be accessed through a specialized Web browser. Jonathan Trimble, a former FBI agent who is now the founder and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Bawn, logs into a browser called The Onion Router, or TOR.

"I use computers that can be secure because going into some of these hacked sites and downloading information, you don't know what's going to happen. It may be safe, it may not." He said.

Jonathan Trimble, a former FBI agent who is now the founder and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Bawn.

The lure of the dark web is its anonymity and lucrative transactions. Trimble demonstrates several markets that have grown in popularity over the years. Criminals advertise a variety of products, including drugs, hacking tools and people's personal information. Trimble said there are criminals looking to make a quick buck, and there are large criminal organizations that build these marketplaces like a business to make a profit. Purchases are made with bitcoin, unlike credit cards, which can be traced to people, he said.

"It ranges from the completeness of the information, or the complexity of the information package. For example, an identifying number such as a Social Security number might be about $2 to $3. But if you have a complete package, such as a business, employee identification number, Dun&Bradstreet number, then all of the identifying information for the business is more expensive, and I've seen it for about $70." Trimble said.

Sites that sell product or user information look like any normal retail site, and even have a reviews and testimonials section.

"A user says no, or this product is legitimate and successful for me." Trimble says." Whether they can trust the person or organization they're buying from is a high concern."

The global economic cost of cybercrime is growing every year and is expected to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to research site Cybersecurity Ventures. It says this represents the largest economic transfer of wealth in history.

Trimble said it's reasonable to assume that your information has been compromised, or will be in the future.

"As an employee who has worked for the federal government for 25 years, I assume my information has been stolen through different hacks focused on OPM and elsewhere in the government." He said." If this does come down to us, all we can do is make it impossible for them to use that personal information. Because if they have the information but can't set up an account, or it's too difficult for them, they'll move it elsewhere. "

He recommends that you continually update your digital software, monitor your financial activity, and be vigilant about what you download or click on online. The FBI also has a list of recommendations to reduce your risk. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Directorate, part of the Department of Homeland Security, also provides information on general security, e-mail communications and threats.

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