Millions of people make use of the internet on a daily basis for all sorts of things, but the internet is only so big and only gives you access to so much. The Dark Web, on the other hand, is exponentially bigger and caters to everything else. It is a place that is often associated with mystery, conspiracy, and all things odd. It is the place you can escape to where there are no rules, regulations and seemingly anything goes. Want to know more? Let’s get into it.
1 – What It Is and How to Access It
The Dark Web is best described through the giant iceberg analogy. The surface internet (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and all things cuddly are the tip of the iceberg that is visible above the water. The Dark Web is the rest of the iceberg – submerged below the surface, out of sight without the right tools, and exponentially bigger. In order to gain access to the Dark Web, there are a few things you need to be aware of. Firstly, you cannot use normal search engines to access it. Secondly, there are numerous ways to access the dark web, but you’ll need to utilize all kinds of privacy techniques and tools in order to do so. Some of the tools that grant you access to the Dark Web provide you with protection, keeping your browsing and identity anonymous, but others do not. Be sure to keep this in mind when choosing your browser. VPNs work great in case your browser does not provide you with anonymity. This masks your IP address, therefore masking your location, identity, etc.
2 – Who Uses It?
According to a recent study, only a very small percentage (around 4%) of the billions of internet users access it. So who? It is a generally accepted opinion that the main users are whistle-blowers, politicians, criminals, terrorist sects, people with NSFW fetishes, hackers, and even journalists. The curious Average Joe is there, too, of course, but this is typically to satisfy curiosity and not to use it for an untraceable service.
3 – You Can Buy Anything
The name Dark Web should already tell you all you need to know about what goes on there. It is the dark corner of the web. This is a place where there are little to no rules. The sale of personal information, passwords, stolen bank accounts, illegal and criminal activities are only a few of the drivers for this part of the web. You can find sites that sell drugs mixed in with sites that sell bodily organs and counterfeit goods. You can even expect to find sites that show live streaming of people’s hacked webcams and security cams. If you can think it up, you’ll probably find it here.
4 – Safety
When it comes to safety, there’s a bit of a grey area. Technically, it’s a playground for illegal activity, which in itself is not at all safe. Your safety really depends on how well you have protected yourself from breaches of privacy and data. This is why it is important that you use a safe browser as well as a VPN, as we mentioned earlier. If you have all of the necessary tools and protocols in place, you’re good. Be sure to practices some common sense though. Don’t try to access harmful websites, don’t click on links from unknown sources, and definitely DO NOT use your credit card. Bitcoin is the general currency as it is untraceable.
5 – The Dark Web vs The Deep Web
Most people use the terms “Dark Web” and “Deep Web” interchangeably, but they are actually two different things. Let’s go back to the iceberg analogy. We know that the surface internet is the portion of the iceberg above the water and the Dark Web is the portion of the iceberg below. The Deep Web is the bottomless ocean that resides below and all around these two. It is estimated to be around 400 times bigger than the visible surface internet and is also accessed in a similar way to the Dark Web. However, most of the content on the Deep Web is unlisted. You can only find these sites if you have a link to them, or know the exact link address.
6 – It Has Military Roots
Here’s a fun fact for you folks. The Dark Web was created for US military researchers. It was developed as an encrypted and highly secretive way for spies to exchange extremely confidential information without it being tracked. It was made accessible to the general public in 2004 with the introduction of TOR (The Onion Router).
If you choose to access the Dark Web, you need to remember that safety should be your first priority. You need to keep your identity and personal information anonymous.