The Black Web is an ominous term for a mysterious online marketplace that thrives on illegal activity. All sorts of things happen in this underground industry – but the most coveted of these is data theft. As this Verdict article explains, criminals target not only physical assets, but anything that can be sold for profit – so data theft ranges from registration data, credit card information, identifiable employee information to intellectual property and beyond. The article highlights the popularity of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), an easily accessible platform that makes cybercrime accessible to those without computer skills.

However, not all activities that take place on the black web are illegal. For example, news organizations like the New York Times and the BBC, as well as the social media network Facebook, have a legitimate presence there. How can a legitimate business exist on this horrible platform? The black web makes it possible for this type of publication to reach an audience in countries that are subject to censorship. It is also useful for whistleblowers, investigative journalists and citizens of oppressed countries to freely express their opinions.

Yet the black web remains a prime target for criminals. To meet the growing demand, hackers, scammers and other online criminals are threatening your personal information on a daily basis. Whether you use a computer, a tablet or a smartphone (or all three), each of these devices stores sensitive data that can be used. Fortunately, there are several methods to protect and limit access to your personally identifiable information.

Anti-malware software

A reliable way to protect your device from attacks is to install antivirus software. Malware is a general term for any type of malware created by hackers to disrupt your device and steal your data. Spyware, ransomware, viruses, phishing programs and Trojan horses are just a few examples. Once your data is obtained via malware, attackers can use it themselves to commit crimes such as theft or selling it on the black web.

Malware protection can help you avoid this and clean your device to get rid of all the latest threats. For example, this Malwarebytes service cleans your computer in minutes. Make sure you choose a reputable company with good reviews and comprehensive software.

Consider VPN service

For full protection against cybercrime, antivirus software can work in conjunction with a VPN service. A VPN, or virtual private network, creates an encrypted connection for a user regardless of his or her location. So if you’re connecting to your devices remotely, on the road, or even on the other side of town, a VPN can help you maintain your privacy by connecting to an unsecured public network. When you use a VPN, it is very difficult for criminals to gain access to your device.

The black web is a market for the sale and exchange of personal information. But if you arm yourself with full protection, you’ll be much better protected against anything that can happen to you.

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