What Is the Distinction Between the Deep and Dark Webs?
The dark web is a hidden network of websites that can only be accessed with a special web browser. It is used to keep online activity private and anonymous, which can be useful in both legal and illicit uses. While some people use it to circumvent government prohibitions, it has also been utilised for extremely illegal activity. What images come to mind when you consider the Deep Web? Is this illegal activity? Scams and phishing? Bitcoins?
You’d be partially correct.
And somewhat incorrect. These are some of the things discovered on the Dark Web, which is a collection of websites with concealed IP addresses that may require special software to access. The Dark Web constitutes only a small portion (0.01%) of the Deep Web, which comprises Internet content that cannot be found using regular search engines. In other words, if Google can’t locate it, it’s undoubtedly still on the World Wide Web, but on the more difficult-to-access Deep Web. If Google can locate it, it’s on the Surface Web, which accounts for around 0.03% of the total internet.
The Deep Web and the Dark Web have been mixed together in public discourse. Most people are unaware that the Deep Web contains mainly harmless sites, such as your password-protected email account, certain aspects of premium subscription services such as Netflix, and sites that are only accessible through an online form(Imagine if someone could gain access to your Gmail inbox simply by googling your name!) Also, the Deep Web is massive: it was projected in 2001 to be 400–550 times larger than the Surface Web, and it has grown tremendously since then.
In comparison, the Dark Web is quite small: there are just a few thousand Dark Web sites.
Dark Web websites are distinguished by the use of encryption software, which conceals their users’ identities and whereabouts. That is why illegal conduct is so prevalent on the Dark Web: users may conceal their identities, illegal website owners can conceal their location, and data can be exchanged anonymously. As a result, the Dark Web is teeming with illegal drug and firearm trades, pornography, and gambling. The FBI shut down Silk Road, a major online illicit market, in 2013.
However, the Dark Web is not entirely dark. It is also used by political whistleblowers, activists, and journalists who may face censorship or political retaliation if their government discovers them. The most notable example is the website Wikileaks.
7 Tips for Using the Dark Web Safely
- Trust your instincts. To avoid getting scammed, you should exercise caution when using the internet. Not everyone is what they appear to be. To stay safe, you must be cautious about who you talk to and where you go. If anything doesn’t feel right, you should always take action to get out of the circumstance.
- Separate your online persona from your real life. Your username, email address, “actual name,” password, and even credit card should never be used in any other context. Create whole new “throwaway” accounts and IDs for yourself if necessary. Before making any purchases, obtain a prepaid, untraceable debit card. Use nothing that could be used to identify you, whether online or in person.
- Actively monitor identity and money theft. For your protection, many online security services now include identity protection. Make use of these resources if they are made available to you.
- Avoid downloading files from the dark web at all costs. Fear of malware infection is significantly higher on the dark web, which is a lawless environment. If you do decide to download, real-time file scanning from an antivirus programme can help you check any incoming files.
- Disable ActiveX and Java in any network settings that are available. Malicious actors have a history of investigating and exploiting these frameworks. You’ll want to avoid this risk because you’ll be going across a network full of said hazards.
- For all daily activities, utilise a non-admin local user account. Most machines’ native accounts will have full administrative privileges by default. Most malware relies on this to carry out its functions. As a result, by restricting the account in use to stringent privileges, you can slow or stop the progression of exploitation.
- Always keep access to your Tor-enabled device limited. Protect your children or other family members from coming across anything that no one should ever see. Explore the Deep Web if you’re inquisitive, but keep children away from it.