Use this article if:

  • You want to learn more about the McAfee Identity Monitoring services
  • You think your email addresses, passwords, or other personal information is on the dark web

More resources:

To learn more about our new personal protection apps and services, visit the McAfee Security product page.

As online security threats grow, it’s important to know if cybercriminals have stolen your personal information. If cybercriminals have your personal information, they can sell and trade it on the dark web, alongside many other types of commodity.

Information traded and sold on the dark web often includes stolen passwords and personal information (known as Personally Identifiable Information, or PII). This information is typically obtained through data breaches (see below for more information about data breaches).

We scan the dark web continuously for stolen information. Currently, we monitor your email addresses and other PII attached to it, but we are including other forms of PII monitoring soon. If we find your information, we let you know immediately and we provide guidance to help you fix the problem stop anyone from successfully using your stolen account details.

The McAfee Identity Monitoring data comes from several places. These sources include:

  • Internet and dark web forums
  • Hidden and anonymous web services
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) sources
  • Malware samples
  • Botnets, torrents, and more

To learn more about the dark web, see TS103098 – What is the dark web?

  • Why Identity Monitoring is important
    It’s vitally important to know if your personal information is on the dark web. Once because you can then take steps to prevent the cybercriminals from benefiting at your expense. The McAfee Identity Monitoring service continually scans the dark web for your personal information, and we alert you when we find your data there. When we alert you, we guide you through the steps that you need to take to fix things.

    NOTE: You can’t change your information found on the dark web. And we can’t change or remove it, either. Once it’s there, it’s there. But if you know that particular accounts have been breached, you can take back control by changing the passwords of those accounts, or by taking other actions.

    Our Identity Monitoring service detects your PII on the dark web on average 10 months ahead of other services. As we detect much earlier, we can alert you much earlier. Early notifications allow you to secure your accounts quicker, and minimize the time that cybercriminals have to conduct financial fraud with your details.

  • How your information gets on the dark
    The PII of millions of people finds its way onto the dark web due to data breaches. There are many types of data breach but they almost always result in third parties gaining access to an individual’s PII.

    For example, you likely have accounts with several businesses and organizations on the internet. These accounts include your full name and address, your email address, telephone number, and credit card details. If one of these businesses or organizations experiences a data breach, a third party could then gain access to some or all user information. This breached information could then be put up for sale on the dark web. This information could include your stolen PII alongside the data from many other breaches.

  • McAfee Identity Monitoring provides early detection
    Generally, user information quickly finds its way into the cybercriminal’s hands after an initial data breach. The breach data normally goes through different phases:

    • Targeted attacks – At this stage, cybercriminals target high-value victims before the breach data is made widely available on the dark web. These victims typically include CEOs, doctors, lawyers, or even celebrities. During targeted attacks, select cybercriminals have access to the breach data, and more determined methods are used to access the compromised accounts.
    • Automated attacks – this stage normally happens months after the targeted attacks phase. At this stage, the breach data is made more widely available on the dark web. The cybercriminals then use automated techniques and tools (such as BOTs) to create high volume, automated attacks to access compromised accounts.
Many people don’t know that their PII is on the dark web. And many only find out after the automated attacks phase, when the cybercriminals have already accessed their accounts.
Our Identity Monitoring service detects stolen PII before the targeted attacks phase. The probability of financial fraud increases over time, so this early detection gives you a clear advantage when securing your compromised accounts.
  • You can still become a victim of identity theft even though you are enrolled in Identity Monitoring
    Identity Monitoring helps to reduce your risk of identity theft by letting you know if your PII is compromised. Early notification enables the prevention or quick resolution of an identity theft incident. But no identity protection tool can prevent identity theft completely.

    You must still take precautions with the accounts that you create and use, and always practice good online hygiene.

    Login credentials are the keys to your accounts, but many users reuse these credentials across websites. Reusing credentials is risky behavior as, when one website is compromised, all are compromised.

    So always make sure that you use different credentials on different websites. Also, update your passwords regularly and follow the strong complexity guidelines.

    For example:

    • Use more than 10 characters in your password
    • Use a combination of capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols
    • Never use one password in more than one place
    • Never use words or phrases that you can find in a dictionary

Source : Official McAfee Brand
Editor by : BEST Antivirus KBS Team

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