What Is The Dark Web
- The “Dark Web” is part of a network of secret websites that exist on an encrypted network.
- The Internet is an immensely vast place, composed of vast amounts of websites that are linked to each other in a variety of intricate ways. Although Internet activities dominate our contemporary lives, the web has only been with us for a couple of decades. That is a relatively short period by the span of human history. Nevertheless, technology evolves at such an instant rate that maybe it’s considered many technological lifetimes.
The most popular websites, such as for example, Facebook, Google, and Amazon, generate traffic from all over the world. Almost all the Internet is made up of basic, accessible areas that are less-trafficked than the most popular destinations. Another part of the web is a group of websites known as the “Dark Web.”
Dark Web vs. Deep Web
The terms “dark web,” “darknet,” and “deep web” are occasionally used interchangeably. Nevertheless, this isn’t correct. The dark web is part of the greater deep web. The dark web encompasses all indexed sites that don’t pop-up when you search the Internet.
Not all activities associated with the dark web are nefarious. In most cases, these pages aren’t searchable through traditional search engines because they require a specific browser like a Tor Browser. Personal email, online banking, and other similar sites are included under the umbrella of the “deep web.”
- Dark Web, also called the “darknet,” is an element of the greater “deep web,” a network of encrypted Internet content that’s not available via popular search engines.
- Dark Web is used for illegal activities such as markets, illegal file sharing, as well as the selling and buying illegal goods or services like credit cards, drugs, and weapons, the anonymity of the markets attracts drug-dealers, hackers, and child porn.
- The Dark web markets have helped grow cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Monero because deals that done on dark web markets use cryptocurrency to protect the buyers and sellers.
The dark web is part of the deep web, but it refers to websites that are most used for illegal actions. Dark web websites are purposefully hidden from the surface net by additional means. Dark web markets used for activities like illegal file sharing, as well as the selling and buying of illegal goods or services like credit cards, counterfeited money, passports, drugs, and weapons. To be able to hide the deals within this hidden economy, bitcoin and monero are usually often used as a currency to make orders.
The anonymity of the dark web attracts drug-dealers, hackers, Hitmen, and other illegal operatives that can advertise their services on the dark web in ways they cannot go over traditional channels.
Encryption and the Dark Web
One of the most common ways that dark web websites are separated from the regular net is through encryption. The dark web websites use the Tor encryption tool to help hide their identity.
Tor allows people to hide their location, appearing as if they are in another country. Tor-encrypted networks require that folks use the Tor browser to be able to visit dark web sites. When people use Tor, their IP addresses and other identifying info are similarly encrypted. It isn’t difficult for people to access the dark web as long as they have the proper encryption tools. Nonetheless, it can be hard to determine who developed certain websites on the dark web. If you’ve participated in the dark web, and your identity is revealed, it can be dangerous.
The Tor encryption tool uses many layers of encryption and anonymizes all traffic by routing it through a dense network of secure relays. The Tor network is not illegal, but the way that it’s used can be illegal. Tor isn’t always used to access dark web services.
Tor estimates only roughly 4% of its traffic is used for dark web sites; the remainder can be accounted for by people accessing regular websites with an elevated level of security and anonymity.
Example of the Dark Web
When people think about the dark web, a few prominent examples come to mind. Dark web websites that attract media attention are often being used for illegal purposes. However, you can find parts of the dark web sites that aren’t necessarily illegal.
One of the most famous examples of dark web sites was called the Silk Road market. Silk Road was used for buying and selling a variety of illegal items, including recreational drugs and weapons.
Silk Road was founded in 2011, and it is often considered the first dark web marketplace. Though it was shut down by law authorities in 2013, it has spawned many same markets.
Dark web markets like the Silk Road were helped rise bitcoin because cryptocurrency transactions on dark web markets protect the buyers and the vendors.
Reasons to Use or Avoid the Dark Web
Aside from illegal purchases and sales, there are legitimate reasons to use the dark web. People within closed societies and facing severe censorship can make use of the dark web to communicate with others outside of their society. Also, people within open societies might use the dark web if they’re concerned about govt activity (as snooping and data collection is growing worldwide).
Nevertheless, nearly all activity over the dark web is illegal. That is easily explained by the fact that the dark web offers a level of identity security that the regular Internet not provide. The dark web is attractive to criminals looking to protect their identities from being able to evade detection. Since its inception, the dark web has gained notoriety for notable hacks and data breaches that have been associated with its usage.
For example, in 2015, user information was stolen from Ashley Madison, a website that connects people with possibilities to cheat on their partners. The stolen data was originally shared on the dark web, but it was later on retrieved and distributed to the public.
In 2016, the United States Lawyer General Loretta Lynch cautioned that weapon sales taking place on the dark web were becoming more common. Buyers and vendors can avoid any local or federal rules when purchasing arms on the dark web. Illegal pornography is also commonly shared on the dark web.
- Due to the fact, the dark web is usually used for illicit purposes, and it seems sensible that the majority of the general populace does not have any reason to access it. Nevertheless, as cryptocurrencies become more common in the financial world, the dark web may become a feature of everyday life. It’s important to bear in mind that, no matter how commonplace the dark web becomes soon, it may usually provide criminals a way of eluding catch, and true anonymity is never guaranteed.
How to Access the Dark Web Safely
o access the dark web sites, you must take a few steps that are quite simple. For those of you that are still not familiar with the TOR browser and VPN, we have created a simple guide to help you access any dark web site.
1. Always Use a VPN to Access the Dark Web
VPN service is a must when you want to access the dark web. Why? Due to the long arm of the law, of course. Technically, you are free to surf on this Internet layer, so long as you don’t take part in any illegal activities. However, a recent ruling by the united states Supreme Court considered that also casually browsing the dark web can get you in trouble.
This means that if the authorities intercepted your dark web connection request, they would have had enough reason to search your home and confiscate the computer, cell phone or any other device used for browsing. Therefore, do yourself a favor and purchase a good VPN before you start browsing the dark web. Need a good one? We recommend CyberGhost VPN.
2. Download and Install Tor Browser
Tor browser might have had its security problems in the past, but it’s still the safest and most popular way to access the dark web.
Due to its market-leading position and the nature of the content which you can access when using it, it will come as no surprise to understand that there are a lot of actors out there who wish to spoof the app and make you download a compromised version instead.
Therefore, you must never download the Tor browser from any source apart from the official site. You’ll find it at torproject.org. The Tor browser is free to download and use.
Also, you need to make sure you keep the Tor browser updated all the time. If you do not do this, it could leave you vulnerable to security issues.
3. Take Security Precautions
The dark web is a popular place for hackers, cyber-criminals, malware creators, and other unsavory types that you truly don’t want anywhere near your machine.
Sadly, the nature of the dark web means you’ll probably encounter them sooner or later. Ideally, you will need to make yourself as small a target as possible by reducing the number of attack vectors they can use.
For that reason, before you open the Tor browser, you should close all the other open programs on your machine, stop unnecessary services from running, and cover your webcam with a piece of paper.
4. Install TAILS
The Amnesiac Incognito Live System (TAILS) is a unique Debian-based version of Linux that leaves no trace of any user activity-nor the operating-system itself-on your pc.
The operating system is free to use and live boots from a USB device or CD drive.
TAILS cannot save cookies or file to your hard-drive without directly asking it to do so. You also won’t run the risk of web browsers dumping “page out” data onto your hard drive (most browsers do this for speed and performance.)
Furthermore, TAILS come with the Tor Browser pre-installed, so you will not need to worry about extra steps once you’re up and running.
All web traffic on the TAILS machine is automatically routed through Tor. If the operating system detects any non-anonymous connections, it will automatically block them.
In addition to this, TAILS also have built-in productivity tools like a word processor and email client, meaning you can do more than merely browse the web while it is running.
You can download tails from tails.boum.org.
5. Know Where You’re Going
When you access the dark web, you will not have the luxury of Google neatly indexing search results for you to browse. Because of this, it can be hard to find what you’re looking for; you could easily stumble into someplace you really don’t want to be.
Therefore, we recommend using one of the many directory sites to decide upon the websites you want to visit before you even open Tor.
There are lots of great resources on the web that can help to point you in the right direction, not least our own great list of the dark web sites you will not find on Google.