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What’s Dark Web And How You Can Access It

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  • January 20 2024

What’s Dark Web And How You Can Access It

The websites you visit on a daily basis constitute only a small percentage of the entire Internet. In today's world of limitless possibilities, top search engines such as Google and Bing index only a small portion of the internet. The section of the web that we can access on a daily basis is known as the clear or surface web.  However, there are deep and gloomy regions that require some time to access. So let's get right into this blog and learn everything there is to know about the dark web.

What is the Dark Web?

The portion of the internet that search engines do not index is known as the ‘Dark Web’. You are right if you have heard that the use of the dark web is illegal. According to recent studies, 57% of the 2723 active dark web sites host illegal content. According to the study named “Into the Web of Profit” 2019 by Dr Michael McGuires, University of Surrey, conditions have only gotten worse over time. Data indicates that since 2016, there has been a 20% spike in the quantity of dark web listings that have the ability to cause harm to an organisation. Of these listings, approximately 60% have the capacity to even cause large-scale harm to corporations.

Deep Web vs. Dark Web: What is the difference?

The terms deep web and dark web are sometimes used interchangeably, but that does not mean they are the same. The dark web refers to anything on the internet that is not indexed by or can be accessible through search engines like Google. On the other hand, the deep web includes anything that has a monetary barrier or requires sign-in credentials. Deep web also includes content that owners might have blocked web crawlers from indexing. Needless to mention, the dark web is a subset of the deep web that is intentionally hidden from others and requires a specific browser like Tor to access. No one can exactly determine the size of the dark web but estimates show that it contributes around 5% of the total internet.

Who uses the dark web and why?

  1. It helps to maintain privacy. 
  2. People belonging to closed groups facing extreme restrictions use the Dark Web to communicate with outsiders.
  3. Helpful for journalists and hackers to keep their communication confidential while exchanging and disclosing information. 
  4. Even people living in open societies may prefer to use the dark web to maintain anonymity and secrecy. 

How to access the Dark Web?

Using the Tor network is the most secure method of accessing the dark web. Use Tor after connecting to a VPN, a technique known as "Tor-over-VPN," for increased security. A VPN will conceal your online activities and prevent anyone from discovering that you are using Tor. Remember, many governments and internet service providers (ISPs) may be suspicious of users utilizing Tor.

  • Connect to a reliable and safe VPN

Seal your IP address and protect your internet connection with a trustworthy VPN. Though TOR and VPN provide encryption, both are not the same thing. The main difference is a VPN will protect your ISP and not let anyone know that you are downloading or using the Tor browser.

  • Download and install the Tor Browser

It is a free browser that directs your traffic through the encrypted Tor Network. Download the Tor Browser from the official Tor Project website because unlicensed third-party downloads may be infected with malware, so choosing a registered site would be a wise decision.

  • Browse the Dark Web with the Tor Browser

You may browse the dark web's .onion domains with the Tor Browser. Never visit a site on the dark web without verifying its authenticity because it is normally an unregulated area of the internet.

  • Safeguard your identity

The dark web is not always a dangerous territory to venture into, but bear in mind, there are scams lurking around the corner. While communicating or making a purchase over the dark Web, always use encrypted and anonymous email addresses and pay with an unidentified Cryptocurrency wallet.


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Dark Web’s risks and major concerns

  • Cryptocurrency

The majority of financial transactions on the dark web employ cryptocurrency which increases confidentiality even further. The blockchain is a cryptocurrency technology that includes a distributed digital ledger of transactions across a network, with each block securely encrypted. It primarily saves data in such a way that system change or hacking is both difficult and impossible to accomplish.

  • Bitcoin Transactions

It is extremely difficult for law enforcement organizations to monitor the trail of cash flow to gather evidence of a crime, as Bitcoin transactions have made it easier for terrorists and cybercriminals to participate in a variety of illegal activities on the dark web. Only authorized applications of cryptocurrencies are regulated, but the vast majority of them can still be used for illicit purposes.

  • Encryption Technique and Anonymity

Regarded as one of the most serious concerns confronting authorities today, because the dark web is totally anonymous. It is difficult to collect appropriate information, thereby preventing cybercrime and pursuing criminals practically impossible.

Thinking about diving into the world of cyber security? Check out our latest blog post on Cyber Security for Beginners: A Complete Guide

Conclusion

Accessing the dark web is not necessarily riskier than surfing the surface or deep web. In fact, depending on what you are using it for, it can even be safer to enable increased privacy measures. To use the dark web safely, stick to recommended security measures like clicking only on trusted links and using reliable antivirus software including a VPN that will add an extra layer of protection.

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