Friday, February 05, 2021

How to Stay Safe While Surfing On The Dark Web


 

Just like tales about the infamous ‘boogeyman’, often told to scare little children, the dark web also has its numerous stories told to scare regular Internet users. Unlike the ‘boogeyman’ itself, the dark web is real. While some of the tales about the dark web might be true, and others false, the Dark Web has its origins based on secrecy, and it would be unsurprising to find out so many mysteries about it.

 What Are The Dark Web, The Deep Web, And The Clear Web?

 The ‘Dark Web’ was developed in the late 1990s by the United States Department of Defense, it went from what was originally supposed to be secret communication channels for spies, to entire an ecosystem where several discussions and transactions intended to be hidden from the prying eyes of the government or ISPs are conducted.

Since connections are encrypted, and transactions are conducted with untraceable cryptocurrencies, users on the Dark Web has the freewill to discuss and trade anything – whether legal or illegal. The dark web is notorious for the sale of black-market ammunitions, sites that distribution of child pornography, hiring hackers or hitmen, sales of illegal drugs, and so on.

Nowadays, the dark web is repurposed for public use and is a part of the internet that can only be accessed with the use of the Tor browser, which guarantees the anonymity of users on the dark web.

However, there aren’t only illegal activities on the dark web. It gives people like abuse victims and political dissidents the opportunity and freedom to voice their opinion without being tracked.

The Deep Web

There have however been misconceptions as to whether ‘Dark Web and Deep Web’ are the same things. The Deep Web consists of pages that cannot be indexed nor found through search engine queries. They are private databases information that users may not be found in the internet because of privacy. These include medical record pages, corporate confidential web pages, or any content that requires you to login be users can have access to it.

“The Clear Web” is part of the internet that can be accessed from any browser and it is regularly indexed, crawled by search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

The Studies by CNNMoney show that despite the numerous web search results we get from our search engines, those are only 1% of the content existing on the internet. The 1% content we get from search engine results is referred to as the ‘Clear Web’.

Dangers Faced When Using the Dark Web

It is not unexpected that the dark web would not be without its dangers. Explained below is some of the dangers dark web users face when logged onto this part of the internet:

Malware: It should not come as a surprise for anyone to find out that a place like the ‘Dark Web’ will be crawling with all sorts of malicious software. Without a stellar understanding of how things work on there, amateurs on the Dark Web could easily get infected with any of these programs.

Scammers: Online scams are run on almost every platform on the internet today, and it should not come as a surprise that they can be found lurking on the dark web. To ensure anonymity, transactions between people on the dark web are usually done in either cash or untraceable cryptocurrency. Given that it is after all, “the dark web”, the scammed ones are less likely to report said scams to the police authority.

How to Protect Yourself on the Dark Web

The dangers faced by people who use the dark web is genuine, so here are a couple of ways to protect oneself:

●       Be wary: To avoid falling for online scams, exercise patience before paying for an offered good or service from an unknown individual. If the value of the item being sold does not match the amount that is required to be paid, it is most likely a scam. Also, ensure to scan any document or file sent to you with an antivirus before downloading to ensure that it does not contain viruses and malware. 

●       VPNsA VPN app installed on your system creates a form of private connection over the public connection – the internet. Having A VPN helps ensure anonymity, creates a form of protection against the download of malware, and can even protect you from location trackers. 

●       Protect your Identity: Your safety is essential, so avoid using personal details to sign up or identify yourself on any platform on the dark web unless the platform uses encryption techniques to protect users. 

●       Protect your Finances: According to research done by Trustwave, cybercriminals have lately become adept to stealing credit card information via a previous payment, stealing up to tens of thousands daily. It is advisable to avoid using a personal credit card with a lot of money to make payments on the dark web. The user should also check to ensure that the connection is secure and with end-to-end encryption before making any payments. 

The fact that dangers exist on the Dark Web should not prevent us from enjoying its benefits. The vital thing to note is that new risks arise every day, and we must remain updated on new ways to protect ourselves and our devices.

Cheers!

 

 

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This is a Guest post written by Brad Smith a technology expert at TurnOnVPN, a non-profit promoting a safe and free internet for all. He writes about his dream for free internet and unravels the horror behind big techs. You can visit his website at https://turnonvpn.org to read more of his post or connect to follow him up on Twitter to know more.

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