An Essential Guide To Diving Into The Dark Web!
By: Bruce G. Kreeger
The “clear” web is the Internet section that can be accessed from any browser and is regularly crawled and indexed by search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The “deep” web is an unindexed area. The “dark” web is a small section of the deep Internet often associated with illegal activity.
Those exploring the deep web will come across .onion website domains. The .onion address is a hat tip to onion routing, an anonymizing technique used by Tor to mask users’ digital footprint.
Why use Tor and visit the deep web in the first place?
The core reasons are privacy and, to an extent, anonymity. It is far from just those interested in criminal pursuits that appreciate privacy; activists, the media, those living in countries heavily invested in censorship, whistleblowers, and general public members who take their data, tracking, and information seriously use the service.
What do you find down in the deep web?
The deep web is as varied as the standard Internet. You can find anything from the .onion alternatives of popular service such as media publications, secure drops for whistleblowers, historical content, and simple, mundane blogs. Facebook, too, offers a onion address as an alternative for countries that actively block the social network.
It might be slower to browse due to the Tor network’s need, but it is more secure and private.
And the dark web?
Also known as the darknet, this web sector is linked to marketplaces, some of which sell illegal drugs, weaponry, cheap gadgets, stolen data dumps, counterfeit money, and documents. Websites and forums which host unlawful content such as child pornography are also present.
However, there are also thousands of dead links and uninteresting pages, and only a tiny percentage of websites related to illegal sales or extreme content.
Is it illegal to browse the dark web?
It is not illegal in itself to browse the dark web, on the condition you are not actively seeking websites that host highly unlawful content, such as child pornography.
Is it safe to buy products in hidden marketplaces?
Anyone who believes they are safe from law enforcement by trading in the dark web is incorrect, as Silk Road’s closure has shown. Virtual currency and the Tor browser do not guarantee anonymity, and purchases are most often delivered through traditional means.
Scams are rife
Another element to be aware of in marketplaces is the vast array of scams. If you take a risk on a purchase, you have no guarantee, no matter what it is.
Exit scams are common; honeypots exist, and, unlike regulated sources, you cannot file for a refund should you lose your money.
Be careful what and where you browse
Many myths and legends surround the deeper parts of the Internet, such as the existence of red rooms and Mariana’s Web, and many of which are yet to be proved or are simply nonsense.
However, in the same breath, there are depraved websites that display some of the most heinous and vile aspects of humanity and what we are capable of.
International law enforcement works hard to bring down the worst of the worst, but there are some places you won’t want to stumble upon.
Keep in mind, and it is not just the dark web that has illegal goods for sale and horrific content available — it is rife on the surface, too. Common sense should be king no matter where you browse.
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