How to stop your debit/credit card information from reaching the dark web

As we purchase more online and swipe cards more often, we are contributing to a cashless economy which is more efficient. But it comes with various risks like data misuse.

Financial data is one of the most sought-after information by online criminals and there have been many data leaks in 2019 to show that no information is safe. As per a recent report, over 4 lakh Indian debit and credit cards were available on the dark web for $9 each.

You can read here how your financial data reaches the dark web and what happens to it.

In this post, we will explain what steps you can take to prevent your debit and credit card information from reaching the dark web.

How is financial data stolen

Financial data can be stolen in phishing attacks, data breaches, skimming and other leaks.

Phishing attacks

Phishing is aimed at collecting usernames, passwords and other personal information of users. It is usually done using an email or a message that contains a link or an attachment. The sender pretends to be a trustworthy entity such as a company or bank.

Data breaches

Data breaches occur when the user data stored with companies and websites is stolen using phishing, malware, or JS-sniffers. Under attacks like this, user data such as customer name, number, address and payment details are stolen.

So, one should be careful about the entities that possess their basic information.


In this, skimmers are attached to ATMs and card machines to steal your card details so they can access your account. They use the obtained details to clone your card and run up charges on your account.

How to protect you debit and credit card from getting stolen

Here are some tips that will help you to protect your financial information from getting stolen.

Check ATM machines for skimmers

When you are at the at the ATM, you can check for skimmers in the following ways:

  • Check the ATM card reader for tape or glue residue.
  • Check if anything is hanging from the ATM.
  • Wiggle the card slot for loose-fitting attachments.
Monitor your transactions

Regularly check your account statements and card reports for suspicious transactions. If you find even a small transaction that wasn’t done by you, immediately inform your bank and get the card blocked.

Do not use shady websites

If you are getting a deal that you think is too good to be true or a new website is offering you great deals, do not fall for such tricks and purchase items only from known and trustworthy websites.

Be careful with emails

Phishing attacks are often carried out by sending attachments or links via email. Avoid clicking on suspicious links and attachments and only click on emails from trusted sources.

Do not share your card details

If anyone calls you claiming that they work for your bank and ask you for your card details, do not provide any information about your bank account or cards. Call up your bank and share the phone number from which you received the call.

See also:

Here is what happens when your credit/debit card number, name and CVV end up on the dark web

4 lakh Indian debit and credit cards are selling for $9 apiece on the dark web

Biggest data leaks of 2019 that hit Indians
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