Ever wonder why cybercriminals are constantly trying to get you to part with your usernames and passwords? Recent reports show that there is plenty of money to be gained if cybercriminals can successfully access personal identifiable information, usernames, passwords, and financial information. Some keep the information to themselves, while others sell it on the Dark Web for very handsome fees.

Digital Shadows conducted an audit over a two and half year period, releasing the results in July 2020. It was discovered that the Dark Web contains over 15 billion sets of stolen login details. Of these, 5 billion are unique. This indicates that many people are affected, considering that an average person logs on to about 190 services.

Average costs for stolen details in US Dollars



Online and social media accounts

  • Bank account details: roughly 260
  • Debit card numbers: 250
  • PayPal account: 43
  • Credit card numbers: 34


  • Driver’s licence: 28
  • Passport: 18:45
  • Gmail credentials: 6
  • Yahoo credentials: 2


  • Amazon account: 30
  • eBay: 22
  • Facebook: 9
  • Reddit: 6
  • Twitter: 2
  • Netflix: 11
  • Apple TV: 11

(Information source)

In case you’re wondering why a debit card is worth more than a credit card, it’s quicker to get the money from your debit card than your credit card, because you can still contest charges on it.

For financial gain, individuals working in finance departments are key targets – with over 2 million email addresses from accounting firms being found online.

  • To access your information, cybercriminals rely on getting their cyber hands on your usernames and passwords. DON’T SHARE THESE WITH ANYONE.
  • Don’t write your passwords down. Instead, use a password manager. That way you only need to remember one password.
  • Never re-use your password for multiple accounts. If one is breached, all of them become vulnerable.
  • Opt for multi-factor authentication as an added layer of security. This means that you will first need to enter your username and password. As the second layer of protection you will then be required to enter an OTP that is sent via SMS or email to your mobile device. Another option is biometrics, such as a fingerprint scan.
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN). This gives you privacy when browsing online, as it reduces the possibility of you being identified. It encrypts your connection, which may put off cybercriminals.