The 5 Best Dark Web Monitoring Tools to Protect Your Personal Data

Have you ever wondered what kind of crazy stuff goes on in the hidden corners of the internet? Allow me to introduce you the dark web – the secret underbelly that‘s completely hidden from standard search engines.

I‘ll explain what it is, why it‘s risky, and most importantly how you can monitor it to protect your personal information from falling into the wrong hands.

Stick with me, and I‘ll make this tech stuff easy to digest!

An Introduction to the Murky and Mysterious Dark Web

So what exactly is this "dark web" I keep mentioning?

The dark web refers to encrypted, secret websites that exist on hidden networks like Tor. Since it‘s totally anonymous, it unfortunately attracts a criminal element. Everything from drug and weapons sales to hacking and fraud rings operate on the dark web.

Researchers estimate the dark web makes up less than 1% of the entire internet – but it‘s still massive. To put it in perspective, Facebook alone takes up just 0.003% of internet space. So there‘s a whole world of unknown activity happening in the shadows!

Now you might be wondering…if these sites are secret and disconnected from the normal internet, how would my personal info ever end up there?

Well, data breaches at major retailers and service providers are the most common source. When a company like Target, Yahoo or Uber gets hacked, millions of customer records containing private data get stolen. These records – with details like your name, email, passwords, and credit card numbers – often end up traded and sold on the dark web marketplaces.

For example, the 2021 Facebook data breach exposed records of over 500 million users worldwide. Much of this data has shown up across various dark web sites.

Identity thieves love this because they can steal your credentials to access bank accounts, open fraudulent credit lines, file fake tax returns and more. By the time you realize what happened, they‘ve made off with your hard earned money!

So how can we protect ourselves from these devious cybercriminals? This is where dark web monitoring comes to the rescue…

Dark Web Monitoring Tools – Your Personal Early Warning System

Dark web monitoring services act as your personal early warning system by continuously scanning for your private data across leaked databases, hacker sites, and dark web marketplaces.

If your email, password, SSN, or other sensitive info appears in compromised records, dark web monitoring tools rapidly send you an alert. This gives you the opportunity to change passwords, place fraud alerts, freeze credit lines and take other actions before any damage is done.

I‘ve tested and researched over 12 leading options to bring you the top 5 dark web monitoring tools available in 2023. I analyzed key factors like encryption levels, types of data monitored, accuracy of alerts, extra security features, pricing, and expert reviews.

Let‘s dive right into these privacy champions!

Dark Web Monitoring Tool #1: 1Password

1Password is one of my favorite options because it combines a highly secure password manager with proactive dark web monitoring powered by its Watchtower feature.

For password management, 1Password leverages industry leading AES-256 bit encryption. This encryption algorithm uses an extremely long 256-bit key length, making it all but impossible for hackers to crack. 1Password also has a secret key derivation function that strengthens your master password against brute force guessing attacks.

Watchtower integrates directly with Troy Hunt‘s renowned HaveIBeenPwned (HIBP) database that aggregates details on billions of compromised online accounts. Whenever new credential lists are identified from data breaches, Watchtower checks your 1Password vault to see if your any of your saved emails or passwords match the leaked data.

If it discovers a match, you get an automated alert on your 1Password mobile app and via email. This notification provides specifics on the breach along with expert guidance on steps to immediately improve your security – like changing passwords or enabling two-factor authentication.

1Password is offered as a paid membership service, with personal plans starting at just $2.99 per month when billed yearly. But I definitely recommend registering for their free 14-day trial. This gives you access to the full solution including dark web monitoring to evaluate the value before committing your money.

Here‘s a quick rundown of 1Password‘s pros and cons:

✅ Military grade AES-256 encryption
✅ Free two week trial
✅ Detailed security alerts

❌ No permanently free version
❌ Only monitors data in 1Password vault

1Password is a leading choice if you want a secure spot to manage passwords combined with top-notch dark web surveillance protecting your credentials.

Next up – a very similar service called LastPass!

Dark Web Monitoring Tool #2: LastPass

LastPass stands right alongside 1Password as an encrypted password manager with built-in dark web tracking capabilities.

As a password manager, LastPass lets you securely generate and store login credentials for all your online accounts. Information gets encrypted and decrypted at the device-level before syncing to LastPass servers for backup. This zero-knowledge architecture means LastPass never actually has access to unencrypted vault data.

For dark web monitoring, LastPass partners with HaveIBeenPwned to check your registered email addresses against frequently updated breach data. If your email appears in the HIBP database, you get an automated alert by email with specifics on the breach along with expert tips to strengthen account security.

LastPass also provides an excellent security dashboard highlighting the overall health status of your password vault. It will identify reused passwords, weak passwords, passwords not matching current best practices, or compromised accounts matched via the dark web scans. One click allows you to go fix any risks.

While a permanently free version of LastPass exists, the dark web monitoring capability requires upgrading to a paid Premium plan, which starts at $3 per month billed yearly. However, you can access Premium features including dark web scanning for free as part of a 30 day trial period.

Here are the main pros and cons of relying on LastPass for dark web surveillance:


✅ Free version available
✅ Easy email address monitoring
✅ Detailed security dashboard


❌ Only checks emails by default
❌ Free plan limitations

With top-notch alerts, great security guidance, the option for a free account, and seamless integration with password vault, LastPass provides exceptional dark web tracking.

Next let‘s explore how a VPN called NordVPN bakes in monitoring directly focused on your private data.

Dark Web Monitoring Tool #3: NordVPN

You‘re likely familiar with Virtual Private Networks – or VPNs for short – that route your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel to keep your online activity private. As one of the fastest and most secure VPN providers, NordVPN takes things to the next level by integrating dark web monitoring powered by ProxyPipe.

NordVPN is my recommendation if you‘re looking for a full-service VPN with excellent speeds. It offers over 5600 high speed servers across 60 countries, allowing you to bypass geo-restrictions and access region-locked content from anywhere.

It has a proven no-logs policy, does not record your IP address or traffic data, and leverages AES-256 encryption for your traffic tunnel. This means NordVPN itself has no visibility into what you access online – it protects your privacy.

For dark web monitoring, NordVPN partners with ProxyPipe to check if your NordVPN account email address appears in publicly available data breach records. ProxyPipe scans sources like hacking sites, exposed databases, dark web marketplaces and more. If your email is found in compromised credential lists, you receive an automated notification email alerting you to the risk.

While a permanently free version of NordVPN does not exist, all paid plans come with an excellent 30 day money back guarantee. This allows you to test out performance and dark web monitoring risk-free. Plans start at only $3.29 per month when billed for 2 years.

Given the combination of speed, security and monitoring this leading VPN provider brings to the table, it earns a spot as a top dark web tracking solution.

Let‘s quickly summarize the main benefits and drawbacks:


✅ Lightning fast VPN speeds
✅ Email monitoring included with all plans
✅ 30 day money back guarantee


❌ Only checks NordVPN account email
❌ No permanently free option

If blazing fast access and digital privacy are your main concerns alongside dark web surveillance, NordVPN delivers an outstanding complete package.

Now let‘s explore the robust capabilities of Norton 360 for total identity protection well beyond simple dark web monitoring.

Dark Web Monitoring Tool #4: Norton 360

Almost everyone has heard of Norton Antivirus software – but Norton 360 takes things to the next level with its all-in-one security suite. It brings together leading solutions for antivirus, VPN, password manager, backup, parental controls and more with top-notch dark web monitoring baked right in.

On the antivirus front, Norton 360 leverages artificial intelligence combined with one of the world‘s largest civilian intelligence networks to monitor and protect against viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing attacks and online threats.

Its Secure VPN solution provides a bank-grade encrypted tunnel for all traffic leaving your devices so hackers nearby can‘t spy on your activity.

The cloud backup feature offers secure online storage to proactively protect irreplaceable files and photos from ransomware and other data loss scenarios.

And the parental control capabilities allow you to filter content, set screen time limits, block inappropriate sites and monitor search terms to keep kids safe online.

When it comes to dark web monitoring, Norton 360 checks an incredibly wide range of personal data beyond just emails and passwords. The solution allows you to register details like:

  • Email addresses
  • Credit and debit card numbers
  • Bank account credentials
  • Driver‘s license number
  • Insurance member IDs
  • Phone numbers
  • And more

With higher tier LifeLock plans, Norton 360 can even monitor your full name, address, date of birth and social security number against the dark web.

If it finds any traced of your data in compromised credential lists, Norton 360 sends you specific email notifications explaining the breach along with expert guidance to strengthen protections.

Norton 360 plans start at $99 per year for 5 device licenses, while bumping up to higher tiers gives you LifeLock identity alerts. However all Norton 360 purchases come with a 60 day money back guarantee allowing you to evaluate the full solution risk-free.

In summary, Norton 360 is arguably the most comprehensive dark web monitoring and identity protection platform available today. Though it comes at a premium price point, the capabilities are unmatched.

Let‘s quickly summarize the pros and cons:


✅ Monitors incredibly wide range of data
✅ 60 day money back guarantee
✅ LifeLock identifies credit risks


❌ Most expensive option
❌ Overkill if only wanting monitoring

For unparalleled protection and peace of mind, Norton 360 sets the standard for integrated dark web monitoring and identity theft prevention.

Our final contender Keeper takes a different approach, tightly integrating monitoring capabilities into its password manager just like 1Password.

Dark Web Monitoring Tool #5: Keeper

Keeper is a leader when it comes to enterprise password security. But it‘s also an exceptional option for consumers and prosumers looking to securely manage credentials.

It starts with military grade AES 256-bit encryption applied to your password vault, meaning no one including Keeper can access your unencrypted data. Keeper leverages a zero-knowledge security model, meaning only you have the digital keys to unlock the vault.

Next, Keeper‘s BreachWatch capability taps into a massive real-time database of compromised credentials and monitors your vault for matches. If it finds your passwords exposed in data leaks or sold on the dark web, you get automated email alerts detailing each incident the moment it occurs.

This gives you a jumpstart to immediately change any vulnerable passwords and safeguard accounts before unauthorized access takes place. The solution even scans your vault proactively, warning about weak, reused or outdated passwords to encourage enhancing security.

Keeper offers free, personal, and business subscription options. The monitoring capability comes standard with all paid plans, which start at just $34.99 per year for individuals. Additionally, any paid purchase comes with a 30 day money back guarantee allowing you to evaluate the quality of alerts and integration with your password vault.

Let‘s break down Keeper‘s biggest advantages and drawbacks:


✅ Unparalleled password encryption
✅ Permanently free version available
✅ Clear monitoring alerts


❌ Only checks credentials in Keeper vault
❌ Free plan limitations

For those seeking the perfect marriage between leading password security and real-time dark web surveillance, Keeper delivers an outstanding package.

Which Dark Web Monitoring Tool is Right For You?

Hopefully this guide has opened your eyes to risks that exist when your personal data ends up in the wrong hands on the dark web. The good news is powerful monitoring tools exist to provide 24/7 surveillance and early warning when your info surfaces in compromised credential dumps across the internet‘s underworld.

While all five options deliver robust dark web tracking capabilities, the right solution depends on your unique needs and priorities:

  • If you want a secure spot to manage passwords with top-notch monitoring included, 1Password and LastPass are perfect.
  • If you desire blazing fast VPN performance and privacy alongside dark web surveillance, NordVPN is the premier choice.
  • For unmatched identity protection across the greatest breadth of personal data, Norton 360 can‘t be beaten.
  • And to seamlessly integrate monitoring with enterprise-grade password security, Keeper is a leader in the space.

No matter which you choose, integrating dark web monitoring establishes critical visibility allowing you to respond to data compromises long before financial loss or identity theft occurs. I encourage you to register for free trials and see which solution best fits your personal or professional needs.

Please reach out with any other questions! I‘m always happy to chat more about online privacy, data security, identity protection or related topics. Stay safe out there!