Like the regular internet, the dark web is home to all types of sites. If you don’t venture far, you’ll find normal things like forums, chat rooms, or torrent websites. To a lot of people, the dark web is just like the surface web – a place where they go to watch funny videos, chat with like-minded people and read up on the news. Mac, Linux, or Android users should be careful when downloading the Tor browser, because it’s a prime target for hackers.
- If you value a speedy browsing experience, chances are Tor won’t be your browser of choice.
- Yet you will also find many niche email services here that allow users to stay anonymous.
- It’s a great place to exchange data without endangering the safety of informants.
Tor is an open-source browser that allows people to access web pages on the dark web. The name “Tor” is an acronym that stands for The Onion Router, and the term “onion” isn’t as random as it sounds. This special browser uses layers of connections—like an onion—to keep the actions of its users secret while exploring the web. The internet—and the devices we use to access it—are more interconnected than ever.
Circumvent Government Censorship
You might be using a VPN for other reasons too, but to access the deep web it is a ‘must’ because it is the only way to hide your identity, i.e. your IP address. What a VPN does to protect you, is simply – create a virtual private network (as you get it from its name – VPN) from a public connection. The specialized tool people generally use to access the dark web is the Tor browser. It’s a special app that can encrypt and decrypt traffic to access dark web websites.
Specialized criminal groups thrive since itâ€™s easier to combine stolen data with compromised infrastructure and malware. This means even less-skilled malicious hackers can launch cyber attacks and start a lucrative business. By using the Tor browser, internet users can access the Dark Web to communicate and share data in confidence, without the risk of being traced.
Kidnapping & Sex Trafficking
Itâ€™s not wrong to assume that your personal information is on the Dark Web. If your personal details can be found on web search engines, then theyâ€™re most likely available on the Dark Web, too. Itâ€™s unnerving to realize that other people treat your private information as a commodity. It can even be infuriating to see that information brokersâ€™ activities arenâ€™t even illegal because they claim to be using information that already exists in the public domain. Despite its menacing name, the Dark Web is not illegal per se, nor is it unlawful to access it.
Most notably fake passports, stolen driverâ€™s licenses and IDs, bank drafts and more. Includes classified information such as intellectual property, patents, competitive intelligence, and other operational details. While no one can pinpoint the origins of the Dark Web, itâ€™s now referenced in mainstream conversations about technology and digital security as the seedy source of many security issues. Your guide to navigating online safety with your kids is here.
Navigate the shadows with caution: a guide to accessing the dark web safely.
In fact, there are instances where individuals can use it for good. Whistleblowers, for instance, can find the anonymity available through the dark web valuable when working with the FBI or another law enforcement organization. Secure storage platformslike Dropbox or Google Drive also require you to log in to upload and download files and photos.
But it’s not identical to using a VPN – the two apps have different security protocols and encryption methods. The dark web is a section of the internet that isn’t indexed by search engines like Google. You may have heard about all the illicit and illegal activity that goes on the dark web, and for the most part, it’s true. Some portions of the deep web allow users to overcome legal restrictions to access content that is not lawfully available in their geographical location. It is even possible to illegally download movies, music, and other digital media without paying for it. Naturally, these lawless segments of the deep web are rife with malware and other cyber threats.
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As mentioned above, you need a special browser, but often word of mouth is one way people find out about sites that might deal in unlawful activities. There are a number of forums and directories that also make mention of Tor activities, such as Reddit. Instead, the Deep Web contains any gated content that requires user login credentials. Sites like this might include a company’s backend intranet site or a university site where only students can access the content.