The world wide web is a vast and interesting place. On the web, you can do anything from shopping to reading content, studying to watching videos, communicating with others, and playing games. If you thought the web is just what you can find by doing a Google search, you are dead wrong. There is yet another side of the world wide web that you’ve probably never touched called the dark web.
What is the dark web?
To understand what the dark web is, it’s easier to imagine the web as an ocean. What most people interact with on a day-to-day basis is the surface of the ocean hence why it’s referred to as the surface web. The dark web sits at the deepest parts of the ocean and a majority of people never get to it. That’s not to mean that the dark web is not as vast or as deep as the surface web though.
On the dark web, you will find all sorts of things that you wouldn’t normally find on a normal website. For instance, the dark web is known for its powerful underground discussion forums and marketplaces. While the dark web is not just about crime, you will most likely find a dozen platforms where people can purchase illegal items like drugs.
The dark web is different from the normal web in the following ways:
- You need an encrypted browser to access it
You cannot access the dark web with a normal browser like you would when visiting a normal website. The technology behind the dark web was originally created by the US military and used to aid anonymous and secured communication. You will need an encrypted browser like Tor that can understand the dark web’s encryption protocols to open websites and other resources.
- The dark web is not indexed
It’s easy to find a website or web resource on the surface web through a simple search because search engines like Google continuously scan the web and index all the pages. However, the dark web was intentionally made not to be indexed. You will need to know what you are looking for to access something on the dark web.
- The dark web has no censorship or best practices
On the dark web, there is no central authority to monitor, censor or control how people go about their business.
There are a lot of good things on the dark web such as forums, stores, and blocked websites. For instance, there are complete mirrors of popular social media platforms like Facebook for those users where such services are blocked. Users on the dark web are free to express their views and use the web anonymously without fear.
Dangers on the dark web
The dark web is also home to some of the most nefarious characters and criminals on the internet. There is a very high likelihood that you will encounter a lot of malware, identity thieves, dark markets, and other risks while on the dark web.
Ways to increase protection against malware
Use a VPN
While you may have a high level of anonymity on the dark web, there is no guarantee that you will not be tracked and your activity logged. At the same time, your traffic between the dark web and your devices can be intercepted and stolen by hackers. To be safe, increase security using a VPN whenever you access the dark web. The VPN will not only guarantee your anonymity on the dark web but also ensure that your communication is secure and hidden from your ISP.
Keep your software and antiviruses updated
The easiest way to be hacked is by using outdated software. To be safe, ensure that you are using an updated Tor browser, have an up to date operating system and antivirus software.
There is a whole world down there in the dark web for you to explore and enjoy it if you can do it safely and know what you are doing. Take the necessary precautions and you will be safe!