The NordVPN Dark Web Monitor is an in-built cybersecurity feature that stops malicious people and entities from exploiting your sensitive account information that could be released to the dark web.
If you’re a NordVPN user curious to know what the Dark Web Monitor feature on your app is, here’s the straightforward guide you need. It includes how it works, what it monitors across the deep web, and how to activate it across all devices.
How Does the NordVPN Dark Web Monitor Work?
Since online threats, especially dark web threats, don’t have a timetable for when they strike, NordVPN’s Dark Web Monitor scans the dark web for instances of your personal information appearing there. It achieves this in the following quick steps.
- The Dark Web Monitor scans all the dark web forums for credentials associated with your NordVPN account, especially the email address.
- The moment it detects your credentials, it sends an alert immediately showing you relevant information about the leak and the service used in the breach.
- Once notified of a threat, it’s up to you to change your passwords and turn on multi-factor authentication. If the threat is too big, you may have to contact customer support for further help.
What NordVPN Monitors on the Dark Web?
When hackers and phishing parties get hold of your exposed credentials, the damage that can be done is immense. The following are some of the threats monitored by this feature.
Unlike the surface web, the dark web has little to no moderation, making it the ideal place to distribute malicious software. The Dark Web Monitor isn’t an anti-virus but monitors elements of malicious software, alerting you if it comes across anything that may compromise your privacy and security.
Common malicious software on the dark web includes:
- Ransomware: Infects your device, forcing you to pay to remove it. You can lose access to your accounts whether you pay or not.
- Botnets: This is a network of infected devices that hackers use to launch DDoS attacks. They’re usually packaged as services to unsuspecting victims.
- Scam Software: Hackers may set up mock pages that require you to enter payment information so they can swipe your bank accounts.
Many inappropriate content on the dark web could get you in trouble by association. Common ones include the following.
- Hacking: The dark web is full of hackers, and being part of hacker groups, even unknowingly, can land you in trouble. You may also get hacked, and that kind of data breach can make you lose a lot.
- Terrorism: Terrorists use the dark web since it’s hard to keep track of their activities there, considering how expansive it is.
- Illegal Pornography: Child pornography is mainly found on the dark web, where surveillance of results from search engines is almost impossible.
Identity theft is a major concern on the dark web, as criminals use stolen identities to access individuals’ financial information. Criminals often purchase stolen personal data from other criminals on the dark web and use it to commit fraud or other crimes.
Many websites operating on the dark web are anonymous and untraceable, making it difficult to track the criminals responsible for identity theft.
These criminals often use sophisticated techniques to steal personal information, such as phishing scams and malware.
In addition, they can purchase and sell stolen credit card numbers on the dark web, allowing them to make purchases online or withdraw money from bank accounts without physical access to the credit cards.
Passwords sold on the dark web are typically gathered from breaches or malicious activities resulting in stolen credentials. These passwords are then sold to the highest bidder and can be used for various malicious activities, from accessing personal bank accounts to hijacking social media accounts.
Criminals often target phone numbers on the dark web. Phone numbers are a form of personal information that can access all sorts of account data, including financial accounts, social media, email, and more. It’s important to keep your phone number secure and know who has access to it.
Emails can be hacked or used for identity theft on the dark web.
Hackers can access your emails and use them to help steal your identity, monitor your online activities, or even access sensitive information like bank accounts and passwords.
Sometimes, criminals may try to extract money from you by pretending to be a legitimate business or organization.
What to Do if NordVPN Finds Your Information on the Dark Web?
The moment you get an alert that your information is on the dark web, immediately do the following.
- Change the passwords of all your accounts and activate Two-Factor Authentication.
- Block all your credit card numbers and notify your bank.
- Contact NordVPN customer support for further advice on what to do next.
How to Stay Safe on the Dark Web?
The dark web can be dangerous, and it’s important to take necessary precautions when accessing or using it. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:
- Use a VPN: A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an essential security measure for anyone on the dark web. VPN services encrypt your IP address and route traffic through a remote server, hiding your real IP address and location. They also use a kill switch to prevent leaks. Some, like NordVPN, even have a Dark Web Monitor (and “Onion Over VPN” servers) that makes things easier by stopping data breaches.
- Use Tor Browser: The Tor browser is designed specifically for the dark web and provides an extra layer of security when accessing websites there. It also prevents dark web sites from tracking your activity or gathering information about you.
- Stay anonymous: It’s important to remain anonymous when accessing the dark web. Ensure not to reveal personal information such as your real name or email address.
- Be careful what you download: Many websites on the dark web contain malware and other malicious content that can harm your computer or device if downloaded. So, only download files from trusted sources.
- Don’t trust anyone on the dark web: Remember that many people on the web may not be who they say they are, or their intentions may not be what they appear to be. Always be cautious and never reveal any personal information.
How to Enable Dark Web Monitor?
NordVPN has the Dark Web Monitor feature across all platforms.
Here’s the step-by-step guide to activating each.
- Launch NordVPN and open settings by tapping on the three stripes bottom left corner.
- Tap on Dark Web Monitor from the options panel on the left and tap on “Turn On.”
- You should see confirmation that your info is safe.
- Tap the gear icon at the bottom left corner to open the NordVPN settings menu.
- Scroll to the Dark Web Monitor section and tap Turn On.
- You should see confirmation that your info is safe.
- Launch the VPN and tap on the User Profile Icon in the bottom right corner.
- Tap on the Dark Web Monitor with an icon of a hacker running.
- This should show that your info is safe.
- Launch the VPN app and tap on the User Profile icon in the bottom right.
- Tap on the Dark Web Monitor button and activate it.
- Your info should be safe now.
The Dark Web Monitor feature comes bundled with a premium NordVPN subscription. Since NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial, the only way to take advantage of this feature is by getting any of the three NordVPN price plans.
NordVPN goes the extra mile to ensure user safety and the Dark Web Monitor is a nice touch. You can read our detailed review of the best VPNs for the dark web to learn more.