A recent article (found here) highlighted one of the most disturbing trends happening on the dark web. The dark web has been around for a minute now and is a marketplace to buy, sell, or trade various forms of personal information, drugs, and even human beings. Visit the dark web and you can purchase bulk credit cards. Need points for an upcoming trip? The dark web has those as well. Want to setup fake accounts, spend real money, and destroy someone's financial footprint? You can purchase the information and steps on how to do that on the dark web.
The aforementioned article lays out another devious way to obtain PII (personally identifying information). It's not so much devious as it is predictable. Information for newborn babies is readily available. When my child was born, we registered our bright, shiny new child with the Social Security Administration in order to get a SSN. With that number in hand, we gave it to our insurance company so that we could add them to the insurance. We gave it to our family so they could open s
avings accounts in our child's name. Looking back, there never seemed to be a threat to their information being stolen. Having spent the last 15-years working in military intelligence and conducting intelligence analysis on everything from fraud to human trafficking, I've seen how the threats have evolved over time. The skill and lack of conscience by the perpetrators combined with our "It Will Never Happen To Me" attitude have created opportunity after opportunity.
So, what can you do? The safe bet is to monitor you and your child's credit. You can't stop your information from being stolen. You can try and limit the amount of information you put out about yourself or your child. There are products out there that can give you some peace of mind, but accepting that identity theft can happen to you will make your more aware and much more security minded.
For more information on the dark web and how to protect yourself, contact us about the training opportunities we have available.