The internet has become more and more important for work and entertainment. Search engines becoming the go-to resource for seeking any and every piece of information. However, what most people are not aware of is that the most popular search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, Baidu, etc, only scratch the surface of the depth of what the internet truly has to offer. Including the different layers. Before going further, we’ll begin with a brief explanation of the differences between the many webs on the internet. What exactly is the deep web? Is the dark web safe?.
Difference Between Surface, Deep and Dark Web
Let’s start with the latter. The part of the internet we commonly access is known as the clear or surface web. Where we go to read the daily news, binge on Youtube shorts, and learn new things. This visible layer of the internet can easily be accessed through web browsers like Google Chrome, Safari, Edge, Firefox, etc. Yet, there are other deeper and darker sides of the web that deserves in-depth exploration.
The terms “deep web” and “dark web” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they’re different. Technically speaking, the deep web comprises the second layer of the internet. This part consists of websites and pages that are not indexed by search engines. These hidden corners of the web might include password-protected content, private communities, and personalized resources. Contrary to the sinister activities carried out here, the deep web contains research papers, corporate databases, medical resources, tax, and military information, etc. Visiting the deep web requires specific links as search engines do not catalog these pages.
In contrast, the dark web serves as an abyssal zone, attracting shady entities like malicious hackers who trade stolen government or private information. This is where killers and drug peddlers offer their services such as human trafficking, child pornography, torture, or even hired killings in exchange for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The dark web is primarily associated with criminal activities.
It also acts as a platform connecting political outcasts and individuals seeking freedom. As well as a sanctuary for whistleblowers who wish to submit anonymous tips. The chilling details you may have heard about the dark web through the media are sadly accurate and necessitates special tools to access it.
There is no major server hosting the entire dark web. Instead, it consists of a network of servers and nodes accessible only through onion links. Dark web users must install a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or use a suitable Tor (The Onion Router) browser to ensure high-level security and anonymity. The Tor Browser grants access to websites that are prevalent on the dark web. And the objective is to minimize your online presence, anonymize your online activities, and conceal your geographical location. By doing so, you can protect your privacy and security in unchartered digital worlds where anonymity is key.
Dangers of The Dark Web
What does visiting the dark web require extra precautions?.
Given the covert and lawless nature of the dark web, there is a high risk of experiencing scams while attempting to make illegal purchases. Individuals on the dark web may not always be trustworthy. There are a multitude of commodities and services offered here and despite the anonymity and escrow transactions, tracking is still possible.
Similar to the clear web, websites, and resources on the dark web may have malicious software that will harm your computer or mobile device. And several criminal organizations may gain access to your private details like credit cards and home addresses.
How To Safely Access Dark Web
Here’s how to access the hidden part of the internet through dark web browsers:
- Use a VPN for security
- Ensure the passwords for activities across all dark web platforms are strong.
- Avoid sharing private information such as credit cards on the dark web.
- Be cautious of links and only click on websites if they are verified to be safe.
- Make sure you use the Tor browser and ensure the websites have .onion domain names.
- Avoid visiting dark websites using hotspots with insufficient security as they are susceptible to malicious attacks.