NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With data breaches occurring at an alarming pace, where does all that stolen data go?

In many cases, it goes on “the dark web” — a network of thousands of websites where criminals mask their identities and sell both stolen data and criminal services.

The security firm Trend Micro investigated the dark web and found everything from murder for hire and illegal drugs to credit card numbers and loads of consumer data.

Hackers for hire also advertise their services on the dark web, says CBS2’s cybersecurity expert Siobhan Gorman.

It’s a marketplace, so there is even a going rate for your data. For example, while social security numbers may sell for $1, passport data could go for $1,000 to $2,000.

So, how can you make sure your data doesn’t end up on the dark web?

First, take basic online security precautions like not using the same password for multiple accounts and updating security patches on your computer.

Second, monitor your credit card and bank statements monthly and check your credit rating at least annually.

Third, you can use one of the many online services, like Experian’s, to check whether your data is on the dark web.

With so much of our lives online these days and data breaches that are all too common, the best way to keep your data safe is to track it carefully.


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