One of the most controversial developments since the conception of the internet is the “Dark Web.” Many dark and disturbing stories have surrounded the dark web, so it’s understandable why many people are skeptical about it. The dark web is often linked to dangerous and illegal activities, which is a scary prospect for people.
So what exactly is the dark web, and how can you access it? What are the dangers of being on the dark web, and what steps can you take to protect yourself if you’re accessing it? All these questions will be answered as we explore these questions in detail. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Why Do People Use The Dark Web?
The Dark Web is a hidden part of the internet not indexed by traditional search engines like Google or Bing. It is inaccessible to the average internet user, and all the Dark Web site traffic is encrypted. People use the Dark Web for a variety of purposes. Some of them are illegal, and some are legitimate. So, what exactly do people use the dark web for? Let’s find out:
- The dark web allows users to browse and communicate online anonymously without compromising their identity. This anonymity can be helpful for people living in countries with strict censorship and surveillance.
- Whistleblowers and activists use the dark web as a platform to share sensitive information without fearing controversy.
- People also use the dark web to protect their sensitive and confidential information. They may feel more comfortable sharing sensitive data in a more secure environment.
- In countries that have strict censorship, people use the dark web to gain access to blocked websites, services, and content. It allows them to bypass government censorship easily.
- The dark web is used to host illegal and illicit activities. Many criminals use the dark web to buy and sell drugs, weapons, stolen data, hacking tools and services, and other illegal goods and services. Dark web marketplaces carry out these transactions by using crypto to remain anonymous.
Dark Web Vs. Deep Web
Deep web vs. dark web – What are the differences between the two? Another term you might have heard of alongside the Dark Web is the Deep Web. The “Deep Web” is a part of the internet hidden from public view. It is not indexed by search engines like Google. It’s massive and makes up 90% of the internet. But contrary to popular belief, the Deep Web isn’t as scary as it sounds.
Most of the content that you’ll find on the Deep web is legitimate and not illegal. The deep web can include anything from business databases, government records, private social media content, subscription-based websites, electronic bank statements, and health records. It consists of any content that is available over the internet.
Any website that requires a login and password to access them is part of the deep web. Information that is legally protected and confidential, like court documents or medical records, is stored on the deep web to protect privacy and security.
The dark web is a subset of the deep web and requires browsers like Tor to access it since it is intentionally hidden from public view. Although the dark web is associated with illegal activities, there are also legitimate reasons why people use it. On the dark web, you will find sites with regular URLs but with .onion URLs.
How Can You Access The Dark Web?
The Dark Web is complex for the average user, and you must utilise specific ways to access it. Here are two significant ways you can access the dark web:
1) Use The Tor Browser
The first step to accessing the dark web is downloading the Tor browser. It works just like a normal web browser, the only difference being that it is a bit slower because of its multiple layers of encryption. Once you’ve entered the dark web, you will see that regular search engines like Google or Bing won’t work.
In that case, you must use an alternative search engine like DuckDuckGo since it is one of the few search engines that index .onion websites. Although the Tor browser enables you to encrypt your traffic, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can still see your IP address and throttle your bandwidth if they suspect anything.
2) Use A VPN
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) mask your IP address and encrypt your internet traffic, making it difficult for any third party to decipher your data. Connecting to a VPN is best before accessing and browsing the Tor browser. Your ISP can throttle your bandwidth if they suspect you’re using Tor. Using a VPN prevents them from detecting your online activities and can help you bypass blocked Tor nodes. VPNs conceal your online activities, giving you an added layer of protection and security.
What Are The Dangers Of Being On The Dark Web?
There are various dangers of being on the dark web:
- The dark web is a hub for cybercriminals to commit illegal activities such as identity theft, financial fraud, hacking services, and distributing Malware for sale.
- The Dark Web is used to carry out illegal activities such as trading weapons, selling and buying drugs, and also for human trafficking, exploitation, and other disturbing activities and malicious content. These criminals use the Dark Web’s anonymity to avoid getting caught by law enforcement.
- Scammers often use the dark web to collect personal information on people and use it to implement phishing scams and social engineering techniques. It is also filled with online scams and fraudulent schemes, where users can be tricked into making payments, resulting in financial losses or compromising confidential information that can be used against them.
- The dark web can also result in data breaches where stolen personal information, login credentials, and financial data are bought and sold. It leads to unauthorized access to your personal accounts and identity theft.
Is It Illegal To Use The Dark Web?
Using the dark web itself is not illegal. It is a part of the internet you can access using the Tor browser. The Tor browser is designed to enhance the user’s privacy and anonymity by routing their internet traffic through servers run by volunteers. It makes it difficult for anyone to trace their online activities.
Although using the dark web isn’t illegal, it majorly depends on what activities you’re engaged in while you’re using it. If you’re engaging in any unlawful activity, that is against the law, and you can face legal consequences if it were ever to get traced. So, in short, you can use the dark web as long as you’re not engaging in criminal activities.
The Dark web is a complex place that should be approached with caution. While people use the Dark Web for legitimate reasons, they should also be aware of the risks and the dangerous activities that take place when you’re accessing the dark web.
Before you even think of using the Tor browser to access the dark web, it’s a good idea to invest in a VPN for an extra added layer of security so that you can mask your IP address and anti-virus software to prevent your device from getting infected by Malware attacks since the dark web has individuals who distribute Malware.