What is the dark web or Dark Net?
The Dark web is used for illegal and criminal activity worldwide and offer complete anonymity to its user and surfers. The regular browsers also cannot access dark web or dark net websites and resources. Although, the dark web uses special tools and browsers (The Onion Router hidden service protocol). The servers and other resources on the dark web are completely undetectable from “Internet Search Engines” and offer users complete anonymity while surfing the dark web. At the same time, dark web website publishers also having complete anonymity using special encryptions provided by the protocol.
When a user accesses the dark web using TOR browser, that is not surfing the interconnected servers you regularly interact with on the internet. While, everything stays internal on the Tor network, which provides security and privacy to everyone equally on its network. Typically, Dark web websites address having “.onion” domain at end website address instead of the regular web’s .com, .org, or .gov etc..
What is the content on Dark web or Net?
As expected the dark web running with a high degree of anonymity. It hosts harmless content and used for regular activities by its users as well, but on another hand, it was highly utilized for criminal activities and hold many offensive even scaring content in it as well, which could be very harmful for users.
The good uses of the dark web are that it may provide users with a forum for free speech without getting threatened, or share knowledge and eBooks etc. but the dark web is better known for its dark content like illegal and sometimes disturbing content. Below is some example of activities which regular on the dark web.
- Stolen confidential information: Business of stolen information like compromised email accounts, accounts watch free movies etc. on more serious node bank accounts and credit cards details etc. we even may not assume what level sensitive and confidential information on sell on the dark web.
- Banned materials: Business of Illegal drugs, toxic chemicals, Illegal arms and ammunitions, counterfeit goods and many more which you may assume.
- Disturbing and dangerous content and services: This may be ugly and brutally ugly. Things like gore, murderers, child pornography etc. are for sale can be found on the dark web.
In short, a user with knowledge and access to the dark web can buy or watch anything can be imagined or not imagined.
Typically, financial transactions use Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that helps assure buyers and sellers anonymity.
Is the dark web or Net is safe to use?
My first opinion is “no it’s not safe” and better to avoid, but the dark web may be safe in some cases if used for legitimate content with proper caution and knowledge, so that not to get into the trap of malicious actors on it.
Here are a few safety issues to consider.
- Criminal element. There is a high chance a user will find websites run by criminals. Which are selling illegal goods and services, they may seek to exploit and steal information of the user.
- Breaking the law. A user can be prosecuted for things he/she/it do on the dark web. It’s important to behave in an appropriate and lawful manner on the dark web. Remember, if you do illegal activity later or sooner will be brought to justice as law enforcement agencies keep an eye on the dark web by the different ways even though there is complete anonymity.
- Suspicious links. If a user accesses any suspicious links, it may take the user to material which he might not want to see. Also, the link may download a virus or malware which infect your computer.
- Law enforcement. Law enforcement officials operate on the dark web to catch people engaged in criminal activity. Like others on the dark web, law enforcement can do their work under a cover of anonymity too.
If you decide to experience the dark web, it would be prudent to be selective.
How to access the dark web?
Getting to the dark web is a lot easier than we might think. All you need to do is download a dark web browser, like the Tor browser.
Once you install a dark web browser on your device, it functions just like a regular browser. And just type URL and explore.
However, finding the material you’re looking for on the dark web is more difficult than regular internet like search engine like Google, Bing etc are not there. The dark web doesn’t have an index or ranking system to help you find what you need.
There are resources like one called Uncensored Hidden Wiki offers some guidance to content on the dark web, but be cautious it may include illegal websites.
How to safely browse the dark web?
- Tor is known for providing online anonymity, so it can be effective for sharing sensitive information or reporting corruption or abuse.
- Keep Tor and Tor applications updated. Make sure your device’s operating system is also up to date.
- Don’t use email on websites of dark web by using Tor. While Tor is designed with anonymity in mind, providing your regular email address could expose users identity.
Browsing the dark web, and online security
Because Tor servers keep users and publishers completely anonymous, there’s no way to regulate or control the content, products, and services being offered on the dark web. Also, no way to trace communications or keep track on responsible parties because all payments are made and received using Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, a digital currency that operates independently of any bank.
Also, there are publications on the dark web that believe that this the only way to run and maintain a truly free press.
Before you access the dark, please be sure to educate yourself on the risks of the dark web. Make sure you install and run strong security software on your computer and networking devices to help ensure the privacy and security of your own data.
The Writer view:
Complete anonymity gives the user true freedom and make them fearless and enable them to express themself truly & freely without being tracked and face threats on there view and activities. On another hand, the same anonymity enables the malicious actor to be fearless from law and gives freedom to trade whatever they want. It’s a two-sided extremely sharp sword and Knight holding the sword should cautious all the time to not harm himself and others.