Navigating the Dark Web Safely2 min read
What does a day on the Internet look like? You click on the browser of your choice, type in what you want to search for, a search engine compiles indexed results, and displays them for you to browse. But is there a hidden part of the Internet? Yes, and it’s called the “dark web“.
The deep web contains search results and documents not indexed by the “clear web,” the Internet you use daily. But located within the deep web is another area of the Internet where people can maintain complete anonymity and express their views without repercussion: the dark web.
The Dangers of the Dark Web
- Malware – Malware permeates the dark web as much as it does the clear web. However, with fewer restrictions and zero moderation, malware programs run rampant. It’s easy to become infected with a nasty keylogger, a botnet program, or other dangerous malware.
- Illegal Activity/Storefronts – The dark web is host to a plethora of criminal activity, especially when it comes to its storefronts. Unlike the clear web—an area restricted by laws and regulations—the dark web contains illicit storefronts, sellers that sell weapons, drugs, illegal media, and other products and services not allowed on the clear web.
- Identity Theft – Speaking of storefronts, the dark web contains many databases containing stolen user information, from emails to passwords to social security numbers and so on. Seeing the product of identity theft, or becoming a victim of it yourself, is entirely possible on the dark web.
Staying Safe on the Dark Web
Load Up on Security Software
Before venturing out into the dark web, make sure the device you’re doing it on is stacked with essential security software. You’ll want a real-time antivirus and antimalware program to notify you if anything suspicious is detected on your device.
The dark web gives you anonymity to a certain degree, but your ISP can still have access to information like what type of browser you are using . An effective solution is to download a VPN for extra security. As you encrypt all your online traffic, even your ISP would not be able to spy on your activities.
Know What You’re Clicking On
Instead of typing in the site or service you want to visit as you would do in the clear web, the dark web uses random links that contain random strings of letters and numbers.
Before diving into the dark web, read up on links that are safe to visit and what you should avoid. There are entire online communities dedicated to helping new users navigate the dark web, so take part in those circles.