The Dark Side of the Internet
It is remarkable to see how the Internet evolved from the dawn of its creation. We should have guessed that something that was envisioned as a tool that will help to share information and knowledge and connect people all over the globe will eventually be used for some sinister purpose.
The need for privacy and protection of personal data has led to the emergence of the Deep Web. Every search engine is scanning the Web looking for whatever you are searching for, but it will be able to find it only if there is a link leading to that specific data that you are seeking. If you try to find someone’s private information like a bank account data, personal email address, or medical records, you will not be able to.
That is because nobody shares their private information publicly unless they choose to do so. Every sensitive personal data is hidden in the Deep Web. Every time that you log in on your account by providing a password, you are entering the Deep Web. The information stored inside the Deep Web is the one that cybercriminals are trying to steal from you. You can decide to prevent this by creating strong passwords and changing them from time to time. You also shouldn’t access your personal information on a public wi-fi network but use a VPN instead.
This is the point where the Deep Web stops and the Dark Web begins. And as you might expect, it gets a little dangerous. The Dark Web uses Tor ( The Onion Router), which is a free software used for anonymous communication. It has its own Tor browser and search tools like HidenWiki, Onlin.link, and Torch. It is like a mirror image of the surface Web that goes underground to hide from curious eyes and secures complete anonymity.
The Dark Web can be useful for ensuring freedom of speech and anonymity. Still, as you might presume, it is mostly used by criminals as a virtual black market. It is a digital silk road where you can find anything from illegal drugs and weapons to stolen credit cards and hacked Netflix accounts. There are hackers for hire, murderers for hire, kidneys, livers, and child pornography. And everything is bought and sold with a virtual Bitcoin currency to ensure no trace of money transactions.
Ways To Protect Yourself On The Dark Web
- You really shouldn’t visit this virtual den unless you are looking for trouble. If you do, you need to take special care of the security of your device and personal data because hackers will do anything to steal your data, infect your laptop with viruses and hijack your webcam. You should use a clean laptop that is malware-free, with powerful and updated security software and backed up data. You should know precisely what you are looking for inside the Dark Web and stay focused on your task. Stay out of illegal content, and do not let your curiosity take you to some very dark and disturbing places.
- Do not access any suspicious looking sites and use a discrete operating system like Tails, which provides additional security by making your Dark Web browsing not linked directly to your device. Edward Snowden used the Tails, so you can be sure that it is good. Use only trusted and reliable search engines like The Hidden Wiki or Onion.link. Never use your real email address when browsing with Tor in a place filled with hackers and cybercriminals. That would be like jumping into a pool with piranhas. Once you find what you want, get out, safely disconnect, and take a deep breath.
- Even if you are not an adventurous explorer of uncharted Internet waters, you should take precautions and learn how to protect yourself from the Dark Web. If you do not want to get your data stolen, you should use strong and different passwords for each of your accounts. Keep your Antivirus software updated and use some of the dark web monitoring tools to scan the web and check if your data might be stolen already.
- Try to develop good Internet habits and do not run away from multi-layered security checks. Arrange settings of all your accounts so you can get notification whenever you or somebody else is signed into your account. And if your data is stolen and compromised, immediately notify everybody concerned. But for the most part, stay away from the Dark Web.