Depending on the calculation method, what you are may be worth as little as $5. Who you are, however, can be worth much more.
Experian recently sent an email linking out to an interesting article on the amount your identity information is worth on the Dark Web.* For example, your Social Security number is worth a paltry $1, but your medical records can fetch up to $1,000. Passports can go for $2,000. There is even a price for diploma information (up to $400).
The article concludes with this oft-repeated, but still sage, advice:
While data breaches are on the rise and outside of your control, you can practice good habits for your own personal information like maintaining healthy password practices, and not sharing your personal information unless it’s necessary.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that you keep your antivirus software and software updates on all devices (computer, laptop, tablet, phone) current as those updates may include security patches that are important to protecting your information.
[Keeping anti-virus and other software up-to-date on iPads and other tablets is extremely important, but often overlooked.]
Hackers are smart and persistent; you must be smarter and ever-diligent.
* The Dark Web refers to any website that is housed on a server that is not accessible by a standard search engine, requiring specific software to access. Total content housed on the Dark Web is minuscule — estimated to be approximately 0.03% of the total web.
Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact Bob Brewer, Tony McFarland, Elizabeth Warren or a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.