Hey guys, in this article, I am going to discuss what is the dark web and how to access it. So keep reading.
When it comes to the internet, many people are familiar with the surface web. This is your usual mix of websites that you may access on a regular basis such as Facebook, Instagram, and all your usual news sites.
However, there’s another side to the internet that might seem more mysterious and dangerous to some people known as the dark web. Many internet users choose to avoid the dark web entirely as it’s infamous for being a hub of cybercriminals and underground marketplaces.
However, there’s much more to the dark web than that, and you’d be surprised to know that it’s not just a place where hackers hang out. If you’re ready to learn more about the dark web and exactly what happens there, read on to find out.
What Is Dark Web?
The dark web is a section of the internet that is somewhat hidden away from the public. However, anyone is able to access the dark web using the right tool, which is a Tor browser (short for The Onion Router). This special browser was developed in the late 1990s by the United States Naval Research Laboratory.
The Project was started to allow spies to effectively communicate with each other in secret without any of their communications being intercepted by others, and it was effective at doing this job.
The Tor browser uses a random path of encrypted servers known as “nodes”, allowing Tor users to browse the dark web anonymously without their actions being traced. This means that their browsing history also can’t be tracked. What makes Tor even more private is that websites on the dark web use encrypted relays to communicate data. This means that websites will also remain anonymous and you won’t be able to find out who’s running them or where they’re being hosted.
In other words, both the internet users and the website creators are safe and kept anonymous when using the Tor browser due to the onion-like layering. This is the biggest attraction for many people who choose to use the dark web.
Eventually, the program was repurposed into the anonymous browser (similar to Google and Firefox) that it’s become famous for. It can now be used to access a collection of ‘hidden’ websites in what is known as the ‘dark web’ and it also allows users to browse the internet anonymously. Anyone can download the Tor browser free of charge.
Is The Dark Web Dangerous?
So now that we understand what the dark web is and why it provides excellent privacy and anonymity using the Tor browser, we need to look into whether it truly is as dangerous as many people believe it is.
There is a misconception that the dark web is crawling with hackers looking to exploit anyone who steps foot into it. There’s also a belief that the dark web is known for illegal underground websites and marketplaces, making it illegal to access the dark web.
However, this is simply not the case. It is not illegal to access the dark web as such, and this might come as a surprise to you. However, you do not need to be careful when using the dark web, because it is true that there are cyber criminals all over the dark web.
There are also many legal parties and government agencies that use the dark web especially if they are working with sensitive information that can’t be leaked to the public. The anonymity and privacy provided by the Tor browser allow them to safely communicate and keep their information secure.
The dark web does contain questionable material such as; drug sales, weapons, Wikileaks documents, and cybercrime marketplaces. However, it also includes things that are not necessarily illegal such as hidden private communications, confidential files, rare books that are scanned, and sensitive journalism. People communicate using Tor mainly because of the privacy benefits.
The dark web naturally attracts users who need to remain anonymous while they’re online. While this is appealing to cybercriminals, there are other people out there who may also need to keep their identities hidden while they’re online. Whistleblowers, censored journalists, abuse and persecution victims, and political dissidents have been frequent users of the dark web.
Some users may also make use of the Tor browser if they find themselves in a region that has strict internet censorship such as China. The Tor browser not only allows users to access the dark web but also the surface web. This makes the Tor browser a great solution for bypassing internet censorship and accessing websites that might be blocked within a country’s borders.
So the answer is that the dark web is not necessarily dangerous as long as you don’t go to the wrong websites. If you stick to websites that aren’t risky then there is no issue with using the dark web. In this way, it is very similar to the surface web where you could easily land on sketchy websites if you’re not careful.
What You Need To Look Out For On The Dark Web
Just like on the surface web, there are some risks that you might face while browsing the dark web. Below is a list of some of the key factors you need to be aware of if you’re accessing the dark web;
- Malicious software – much like the surface web, the dark web can be riddled with malware such as viruses, spyware, and even ransomware. If you’re not careful, malware can be installed on your device, or you might accidentally download malware onto your device.
- Government monitoring – while the Tor browser is anonymous and your internet traffic can’t be tracked, there are some websites that have been taken over by authorities. They will monitor which devices access the website, and you can become a government target simply for visiting a website on the dark web.
- Scams – just like the surface web there are scams on the dark web. Cybercriminals will sell products or services on the dark web and never deliver. However, it is much more difficult to track down a scammer on the dark web due to its anonymity and privacy.