You may have seen some of the stories to hit the national media recently, where some members of the public have had their personal information leaked on websites belonging to the 'dark web'. The dark web is one of the names given to a hidden corner of the online world that isn't covered by search engines, nor accessible by your regular internet browsers. This area of the internet hosts a range of websites that cater for illegal activities, including the trade of drugs, weapons, and even stolen financial information.

Cyber criminals who have succeeded in stealing personal details will often use the dark web to sell this information to other criminals. These third parties can then use the information to commit identity fraud, taking out bank accounts, credit cards and other financial products.

However, a password management software product known as Dashlane has recently added a new feature to their services that could help with this. This feature promises to monitor in real-time for any breach of personal information.

What is Dashlane?

Dashlane is one of several software applications that have risen in popularity in recent years. It's a password manager that can make remembering all your passwords far easier, as well as keeping them all in a secure, non-physical location. One of the other, more well-known password management applications that you may have heard of is called LastPass.

As well as storing a secure log of all your online passwords, Dashlane can also hold your ID, credit card information and various other payment methods. It comes equipped with an 'auto-fill' feature that can automatically input your details at the appropriate time; for example, when filling out lengthy payment and delivery address forms during online shopping sprees.

Monitoring for security breaches

Much like any software, Dashlane is continually updated with new features and security patches on a regular basis. Now, the latest iteration of Dashlane to be released has added a feature that isn't commonly boasted by other software subscriptions. This is the ability to monitor the dark web for any of your stored personal information.

Dashlane version 6 features this upgrade, which could be immeasurably useful in bolstering your online security. Though you might be concerned about your details making it onto the dark web, there's no straightforward way to know if you've been targeted. As we've mentioned above, traditional search engines don't scour these illegally-hosted websites for information, so you'll never see them pop up in your Google or Bing search results.

Although you could theoretically follow dangerous information online about how to get yourself set up to visit the dark web, this is something we’d never recommend doing. Not only do you run the risk of viewing information that could get you in trouble with the law, you’ll also put yourself at risk of landing on a website that could install malicious software onto your machine or try to steal your information by other means.

In addition to monitoring the internet for any mention of the account details that you have saved inside of the Dashlane user interface, the application will also display you warning dialogs if something is detected. This will prompt you to immediately act and change the credentials associated with the account or close the card in question if it's a credit card that has been leaked.

Keeping yourself secure

Providing you keep your personal information secure, you’ll hopefully never need to worry about your details being hijacked online. However, using a software such as Dashlane or LastPass can be useful in forming part of your online security.

You should also consider using a mobile VPN when you’re surfing the internet, taking care when using public Wi-Fi hotspots, and using password best practices, such as choosing a secure passwords. Above all, if you're the type to forget a password, then you should be using a password management system, not writing your passwords on a piece of paper. If you’d like any more advice on keeping yourself and your details safe, then get in touch with WiseGuys on 0808 123 2820.