How much is the data from your social media profiles worth on the dark web?
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Social media profiles are some of the best-selling accounts
Hackers who steal data from social media platforms often sell it on the dark web to other criminals. So, how much is your social media account worth to a hacker?
How much is a hacked social media account worth?
A 2023 Whizcase dark web study examined several dark web markets and exchanges to find the average price for each type of social media profile. This is how much hacked social media accounts are sold for:
These prices reveal which social media profiles are most valuable to hackers, making them the most tempting targets. The value depends largely on the information included in each type of account.
While LinkedIn may not have as many users as other platforms, its accounts are by far the most valuable because the profiles contain professional information such as titles, work history, colleagues, and responsibilities. These factors can contribute to effective phishing campaigns, and users are also more likely to pay more to recover their data.
Reddit is the least valuable because these accounts don’t have as much impact. They are often anonymous and rarely linked to other sites or real-world connections, so criminals can’t get much out of them. Social networks like Facebook and Instagram, where people connect more with others and post personal data, justify a higher price.
How to keep your social media profile data off the Dark Web
If these prices seem low it is because there is a lot of supply to satisfy the demand of criminals. Social media hacks are terrifyingly common. Here’s what you can do if you don’t want your data to end up on the dark web.
Limit what you post
According to a report from the Identity Theft Resource Center, a single social media data breach can affect tens of millions of users. These events are often out of your control, but you can minimize leaks when this happens.
Think twice before posting personal information on social media, even if you think your profile is relatively private. Remember, the more data your account contains, the more valuable it will be to hackers. If your accounts don’t reveal much about you in the real world, cybercriminals won’t be able to do much damage after hacking them.
Practice good password management
Next, be sure to use strong passwords. Longer and more complex ones are stronger against credential stuffing attacks. Also don’t reuse passwords across multiple accounts. Reused credentials are easier for cybercriminals to crack, especially if one of your profiles is already on the dark web.
Many social platforms support two-factor authentication and it is best to enable this feature when available. As simple as it may seem, this step means that a breached password won’t give a hacker access to your account.
Have a response plan
Because these attacks are so common, you should prepare for the worst. Pay attention to the signs of a hacked account and be prepared to respond if you notice anything.
Many antivirus programs provide dark web monitoring services that alert you if they detect your data on the dark web. If you receive one of these alerts, change your passwords and pay attention to suspicious activity on your bank and credit statements. Contact your bank and freeze the account or your credit if something happens.
Stay safe on social media
The dark web market makes social media attacks more profitable for cybercriminals. As a result, these attacks are becoming more common, so it’s important to stay safe. Follow these steps and stay vigilant to keep your data safe.