In recent years, data breaches have become increasingly common. And the consequences of these breaches can be devastating. Cybercriminals use stolen data for various wicked purposes. This includes identity theft, financial fraud, and extortion. Cybercriminals are willing to pay top dollar for login information. This ranges from a few dollars for a single account to thousands for large data bundles.
Just how much is your login information worth on the dark web? It depends on various factors. This includes the type of account, the amount of personal data included in the breach, and the demand for information on the black market.
Login Information for Social Media Accounts
For example, login information for social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most commonly traded items on the dark web. According to ExpressVPN’s research, a single Facebook account can fetch anywhere from $20 to $45. This depends on the number of friends and followers associated with the account. Twitter accounts can sell for as much as $25. Instagram accounts with large followings can go for upwards of $1,000.
However, social media accounts are just the tip of the iceberg. Cybercriminals are also interested in login information for financial accounts. For instance, bank and credit card accounts. In fact, according to a report by cybersecurity firm Armor, stolen financial data is now more valuable than stolen personally identifiable information (PII). The report found that a single credit card number can sell for as little as $5 or as much as $110. This depends on the credit limit and other factors.
One of the most expensive accounts you can find on the dark web are forged passports, which go from $1000 for US passports to $3800 for European passports, and Stripe accounts with a synced bank account, which goes for about $1000. Depending on the platform, crypto accounts can sell from $200 to $600.
Ways to Protect Your Login Information
So, what can you do to protect your login information from falling into the wrong hands? Below we provided some useful tips on the topic.
Use strong, unique passwords: This is the first line of defense against cybercriminals. Ensure your passwords are at least 12 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts, and avoid using pets or kids’ names and birthdays.
Update Your Software Regularly
Software vulnerabilities are a common entry point for cybercriminals. Ensure you’re running the latest versions of your operating system, web browser, and other software, as they contain security patches for your data.
Use Two-Factor Authentication to Protect Your Login Information
Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a security code in addition to your password. This code is usually sent via text message or email and must be entered to log in to your account.
Monitor Your Accounts
In addition to these security steps, it is important to be vigilant about monitoring your accounts for suspicious activity. We recommend you watch for unauthorized transactions or changes to your account information and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution or the appropriate authorities. Make sure you use different passwords if you have several banking accounts. This way, even if someone hacks one of your accounts, the others will be more difficult to get through.
Petr is a serial tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Apro Software, a machine learning company. Whenever he’s not blogging about technology for itechgyan.com or softwarebattle.com, Petr enjoys playing sports and going to the movies. He’s also deeply interested in mediation, Buddhism and biohacking.