Your credit card is worth around $33, your driver's license around $27, and your PayPal account around $42, according to Reviews.org.
Cybercriminals who steal your personal data don't necessarily use that information themselves. More likely, they'll sell those tidbits on the Dark Web where a wide audience of people can buy and use them to steal your identity and make a healthy profit. But how much is your data worth on these underground marketplaces? A recent report from Reviews.org reveals the going prices for each piece of information.
Among your financial accounts, your bank account details are highly prized, selling for $259.56. Next in line are your debit card numbers, which go for $250.05, followed by your PayPal account at $42.38, and then your credit card ringing up at $33.88.
Why is your debit card worth so much more than your credit card? A debit card quickly draws the necessary funds from your bank account. But a credit card charge waits for payment until the next billing cycle, which means you can contest the charges, so this type of theft is not as easy to pull off.
Looking at your proofs of identity, your driver's license sells for $27.62, while your passport goes for $18.45. Your email accounts aren't worth as much—Gmail credentials sell for $5.87 and Yahoo Mail credentials for $1.65. And for anyone who still has an AOL account, those are cheap at just 41 cents.
E-commerce accounts range in price depending on the vendor. At the high end, your Amazon account sells for $30.36, followed by your Best Buy account for $26.54, and your eBay account for $21.66. At the low end, credentials for Craigslist can be had for just $4.66 and those for Home Depot for $5.
For all of us who use social media, a Facebook account sells on the Dark Web for $9.12, a Reddit account for $6.21, and a Twitter account for $2.02. Have you ever tried online dating? An account with Match goes for $7.86. For mobile phone users, T-Mobile credentials are at the top, selling for $16, followed by Verizon at $11.81, and AT&T at $7.81. But Skype credentials are cheap at just $1.25.
Finally, accounts for entertainment services vary in price. At the top of the list is an NBA account, which sells for $15.04. An Apple account goes for $11.36, a Netflix account for $10.73, an HBO account for $7.58, and a Hulu account for $5.01. But a Ticketmaster account can be had for just $1.53.
Your susceptibility to identity theft depends on a variety of factors, including your password and the security of the vendor. But one factor that plays a role is your location, according to Review.org. Among different states in the US, Nevada is the riskiest for identity theft, followed by Florida and then Alaska. The least risky states are Iowa, South Dakota, and Mississippi.
To protect yourself from identity theft, Reviews.org offers two pieces of advice:
- Identity theft protection. Sign up for an identity theft protection service, which monitors your credit reports and bank accounts. If any suspicious activity pops up, the service will alert you immediately so you can take the proper steps.
- VPN. You can reduce the chances of identity theft by using a VPN when browsing the web. VPNs can hide your identity and internet provider by encrypting your connection. And when you use a VPN, cybercriminals are likely to bypass your account in favor of more tempting targets.
To compile its report, Reviews.org consulted data from the FBI and Top 10 VPN list. Each state was ranked on its riskiness to identity theft based on the number of identity theft cases per 100,000 people and the number of personal data breach cases per 100,000 people.
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- Comparison chart: VPN service providers (TechRepublic Premium)
- Online security 101: Tips for protecting your privacy from hackers and spies (ZDNet)
- All the VPN terms you need to know (CNET)
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