Steps to Take When Your Login Credentials Are Found on the Dark Web

How to Protect Your Sensitive Information and Respond Effectively with Dark Web Monitoring Tools and Immediate Security Measures.
Written by
Published on
Thursday, June 6, 2024
Updated on
June 6, 2024

Finding out your login credentials have been found on the dark web can be a nerve-racking experience. Threat actors often put up compromised credentials for sale on the dark web, leading to identity theft, unauthorized access to protected information, or even a full-fledged malware attack.

However, there are some important steps you can take to minimize any damage done. This guide will walk you through those key actions to take when your login credentials are compromised.

Step 1 - Confirm the Breach

Before taking any action, make sure your credentials have indeed been compromised. You can do this by using a reliable dark web monitoring tool to verify the breach. Good dark web monitoring tools provide detailed reports on the nature and extent of the compromise.

Example: If you receive an alert from a dark web monitoring service, verify the details, such as the specific accounts affected and the type of data exposed.

Step 2 - Change Affected Passwords Immediately

Once you’ve confirmed that your credentials have been leaked, the first step to take is to change the passwords for all associated accounts with the compromised credentials. Ensure that the new passwords are strong and unique and avoid reusing passwords across multiple sites.

Example: If your email credentials are found on the dark web, change your email password immediately, and update any other accounts that use the same password.

Tips for Creating Strong Passwords:


- Use a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers, and special characters.

- Make the password at least 12 characters long.

- Avoid using easily guessable information, such as birthdays or common phrases.

Step 3 - Enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

By enabling multi-factor authentication, you can add an extra layer of security to your accounts. Even if cybercriminals have your login credentials, they will need the second form of verification (such as a code sent to your phone or email) to access your account.

Step 4 - Monitor Your Accounts for Suspicious Activity

Keep a regular tab on your accounts for any unusual or unauthorized activities. This can range from reviewing recent login attempts, any changes to account settings, and any unauthorized transactions to setting up alerts for suspicious activities for your debit and credit cards.

Step 5 - Notify Affected Parties

If the compromised credentials include work-related accounts, notify your employer or IT department immediately. They can take additional steps and initiate  incident response protocols to any potentially affected systems and prevent further breaches.

Step 6 - Check for Other Compromised Accounts

Cybercriminals often use stolen passwords to try and gain access to other accounts through credential stuffing attacks. Use a password manager to identify and update any accounts that share the same or similar passwords.

Step 7 - Stay Informed About Security Breaches

Keep yourself updated on news about security breaches via cybersecurity newsletters or other reliable sources, especially the ones involving the services to use or the industry you are in. This can help you take swift measures to protect yourself if any new breach is identified.

CloudSEK provides an excellent module on Threat Intelligence where we constantly track new breaches across the world and show you on a live feed

Step 8 - Implement Regular Security Practices

Carry out constant security checks to protect your accounts from being compromised in the future. This includes regularly updating passwords, using MFA, and keeping an eye out for phishing attempts.

Step 9 - Consider Professional Monitoring Services

Manually monitoring your security posture can be tiring and inefficient. For a potent security tracking, consider using professional dark web monitoring services that offer comprehensive protection and automated alerts. Services like CloudSEK’s XVigil can help detect and respond to threats more effectively.

Step 10 - Secure All Associated Devices

Run full system scans, update antivirus softwares, and secure your network connections to make sure that all the devices connected with the compromised credentials are safe and no malware has been installed in your system.


Finding your login credentials on the dark web can be a major security threat. But if you take quick steps, you can minimize the impact, protect your accounts, and keep your network safe. 

Start by changing your passwords, enabling MFA, and informing your IT team. Also ensure you are updated on current threats and breaches so that you are protected from threat actors in the future.

Get Started with XVigil

CloudSEK’s XVigil offers a strong deep and dark web monitoring module that scans thousands of sources on the dark web to detect any breaches such as credential breaches or stolen data. Gain situational awareness of the “unknown” territory and empower your security team with actionable intelligence.

Book a demo today to see how XVigil can help protect your organization.

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Protect your sensitive information from unauthorized access and data breaches with CloudSEK XVigil Credential Breaches module, ensuring the security of your valuable data

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