A new online service, which alerts you if your sensitive personal information is leaked online, has launched today in the UK.
OwlDetect gives you the power to scan the ‘Dark Web’ – the anonymous collection of encrypted websites most commonly used for illegal trading – for almost any piece of personal data that might have been leaked or stolen during a cyber-attack. This includes email addresses, debit or credit cards, bank details and even passport numbers.
The service shines a spotlight into some of the darkest corners of the Internet, where it is estimated hundreds of millions of stolen financial and non-financial details are traded and shared every day, and alerts you if any of your personal details are found.
OwlDetect enables you take action quickly and helps prevent any theft or misuse of your data, scanning over 600,000 websites, 10,000 forums and 1,000 Twitter accounts daily, using both online programs and trained experts to find compromised information.
Traditionally, you only know your personal data is at risk when a company that you purchase a product or service from suffers a data breach and the news is made public. Sometimes however, these news stories do not surface until weeks after the data has been stolen and it is often then too late.
OwlDetect removes this reliance, as it can detect your information long before the company in question announces that they’ve suffered a breach, while the service also provides guidance to help you mitigate the risks in the form of action plans delivered online and over-the-phone.
Available as a subscription service, OwlDetect costs just £3.50 per month. First-time users will be provided with a backdated check for their information, followed by ongoing alerts if any of their personal details are found to be compromised online. The service will also offer vital advice on the steps users should take to resolve any issues found, and how to be better protected in future.
The arrival of this service is timely; the risk of data breaches and cyber-attacks continues to rise, as today more and more companies hold both financial and non-financial information about you. In recent months, Tesco, Three and Yahoo are just some of the big names affected, but there are many more, with new breaches happening almost every day.
Professor Richard Benham, Chairman of The National Cyber Management Centre and a member of OwlDetect’s advisory team said: “Today the risk of having your personal information compromised is greater than ever. From messaging apps to online shopping and dating websites, we trust a huge number of companies with our details, and there are endless opportunities for those details to fall into the wrong hands.
“However, while it’s not technically difficult to access the so-called ‘Dark Web’, it is almost impossible to track down your personal information as it’s beyond the reach of regular search engines. That’s why the service OwlDetect offers is so important – it puts the power back into your hands.
“The service scans over 50,000 sites and forums, using both online programs and trained experts, and can check a wide range of data such as passport numbers and driving license details rather than just your email address, which is something almost no other service can offer.
“With more than 37,000 websites hacked every day, it’s an issue everyone should understand and be aware of, but not be frightened by. Cybercrime is as real today as any physical crime. But just like locking your doors or fitting a burglar alarm, there are steps – such as OwlDetect – that you can take to reduce the risk.”