Cybercriminals will go to virtually any length to get their hands on your valuable data and personal details. Scamming users with fake ads and malicious emails, criminals use all kinds of methods to steal your money and identity.
But not all your personal data is equally as valuable. As with any traded commodity, the value fluctuates depending on what it is and the amount of information that comes with it.
Your credit card information ranks incredibly high on the “most wanted” list of any cybercriminal. With it, they will be able to go on a shopping spree on your dime. It is not a situation that you want to find yourself in. Believe it or not, there are worse things that can be stolen than your credit cards.
What is your information worth?
Personal information is the major currency that drives the Dark Web. Just as with money in real life, the more you have to offer, the more you can charge for it. Cybercriminals will visit numerous message boards or forums on the Dark Web to barter or sell private information.
According to the latest Dark Web Price Index, released by Privacy Affairs, a cloned Mastercard credit card with a valid PIN retails for around $25. A cloned American Express card with a PIN will fetch $10 more, while a VISA card is worth the same as a Mastercard.
Payment processing accounts fetch a bit more on the black market. Stolen PayPal account details with a minimum balance of $100 can be sold for $30. The price goes higher the more money is available in the account.
Where is the real valuable data?
But those prices are only half of what cybercriminals can make from your data. The real value for any seasoned scammer is in social media accounts. A hacked Facebook account can fetch around $65, while a hacked Gmail account is worth about $80 on the Dark Web.
10 of the most valuable online accounts to cybercriminals:
- A hacked Facebook account is worth $65
- An Instagram account is worth $45
- Hacked Twitter account is worth $35
- Hacked Gmail account is worth $80
- A Stolen PayPal account with a minimum of $1,000 is worth $120
- USA verified LocalBitcoins account is worth $350
- Blockchain.com verified account is worth $310
- Netflix account with a 1-year subscription is worth $44
- Adobe Creative Cloud 1 year is worth $160
- eBay account with good reputation (1,000+ feedback) is worth $1,000
There are several other high-ticket items on the Dark Web Price Index. A fraudulent passport for the tiny country of Malta will cost $6,500, and a French or Polish passport is worth $4,000. Malware is also not cheap to come by, as a premium DDOS attack costs $5,000.
What you can do about it
As demonstrated by the price index, keeping your valuable data and personal information private is important. Most social media services allow for two-factor authentication (2FA), making it harder for your account to be hacked.
Never sign into your social media profiles on a public computer or public Wi-Fi. There is no telling what malware or keyloggers are hiding in the operating system. Once your social media profile has been breached, it’s near impossible to get back.
To check if your data has ever been leaked onto the Dark Web, visit try HaveIBeenPwned. The site scans exposed databases for your email address and passwords and will notify you if they are breached.
Add another layer of protection
Think about everything you have to protect. The products you look up, the medical conditions you search for, people you Google. It’s all compiled into the dossier about you.
A virtual private network, or VPN, sends your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel, effectively blocking your identity. Without one, you’re handing over a ton of information to the sites you browse and apps you use, along with your ISP, mobile carrier and anyone else who goes snooping.
A word of caution: Some VPNs track you or, worse, collect and sell your data just like all the companies you’re trying to avoid. Many cheap or free VPNs make money by selling your data to ad companies, so do your research. We recommend ExpressVPN, a sponsor of Kim’s national radio show.
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