March 12, 2019

More on the Dangers That Lie Behind the Dark Web


Staying Safe: More on the Dangers That Lie Behind the Dark Web

The broader part of the internet-using population stick to what is known as the visible “surface web” and the deep web. Many people confuse the terms “deep” and “dark web,” but they aren’t, in fact, the same. Explained below are the different types of networks that exist and an outlining of the many dangers that lie behind the dark web.

The truth is, there are a lot of reasons why people visit the dark web. Many are nefarious, but some are just curious while others, like activists, use it to stay anonymous and safe.

However, the danger lies in people having just enough knowledge to access the dark web, but not enough technical savvy to keep themselves safe.

To that end, discussed below are some of the major dangers the dark web poses.

First, though, let’s discuss the differences between the visible, deep, and dark web.

Untangling the visible, deep, and dark webs

People generally know that the internet consists of various networks all over the world that are connected to each other. These networks run on servers for 24 hours a day, every day. But most of these networks consist of the deep web. Because the deep web reportedly forms about 80% of all internet websites. Although it’s hard to tell how big the deep web really is.

In the broadest and most straightforward of terms, the deep web is defined as any website or network that can’t be found by a search engine. That is to say a website or part of a website that cannot be found by searching for it on a search engine. Examples include company intranets, private banking portals, websites that haven’t gone live yet, and information that’s locked behind a password.

The surface or “visible” web are websites that can be found by search engines, like news sites, company profiles, and social media.

Finally, the dark web consists of websites or databases that cannot be accessed by normal means, because they’re hosted on the darknet. Usually, people access the dark web via an encrypted browser like Tor, I2P, or Freenet. The sites on the dark web also have different domains (usually, .onion). However, it’s not possible to gain access to these sites without knowing their “addresses” first, as they cannot be searched for.

So a dark website can be part of the deep web, but the two terms don’t mean the same thing.

Stay wary of falling prey to these dangers of the dark web

Privacy doesn’t mean safety

Dark web browsers use strong encryption and routing methods to make sure people who use them stay anonymous. Most visitors think this is enough to keep them safe. But privacy and safety are two different things. Which is why many people are unaware of the dangers that lie behind the dark web.

Besides the potential dangers of mixing with a murkier crowd who deals in sordid transactions that may cross the moral line, the danger of being hacked is very real.

The dark web isn’t maintained or supervised by any sort of authority. Therefore, malware and viruses are a constant threat.

It’s because of this that most cybersecurity experts NordVPN Solutions recommend people use a separate computer with scripting disabled when visiting the dark web. It’s also pertinent to use a separate network with a VPN installed. That way, if something does happen, the attackers can’t get access to any vital information.

Everyone is anonymous

This may seem like a good thing, and in essence, it is. The worrying part is that whenever someone is interacting with another person on the dark web, they have no way to verify their identity. This means that a person can be scammed or easily lied to and they will have almost no way of knowing it.

The FBI and other agencies do monitor the dark web

Anyone thinking of partaking in some illegal activities may be in for a surprise. The dark web makes it a lot harder for authorities to find them, but it isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s been done before. Just take a popular drug market the Silk Road saga as an example.

Even a curious looky-loo who may not know that they’re partaking in illegal activities could be implicated.

Final thoughts

It’s not illegal to visit the dark web, and it’s not inherently dangerous if a person keeps their wits about them. Many people use the dark web every day to stay anonymous and keep their ISPs or governments from tracking their every virtual move. We can all take a lesson from them and try to be more anonymous and secure in the visible web, too. There are many methods for doing that, like browsing through an SSL proxy, which can protect our identity and data from bad actors.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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