We are all familiar with the internet, right? Presumably, you wouldn’t be here reading this if you didn’t know what the internet was. But are you familiar with the “Dark Web”? Perhaps it’s a buzz term that’s been thrown around and you don’t know what it means. Maybe you have heard about it and are tempted to “check it out”. Here is a little bit of info from your friends at The Versed.
What is The Dark Web?
The dark web is a section of the internet where people go to do days and illegal things that just wouldn’t fly on the regular internet. The internet as you probably know it is actually just what google indexes. That only accounts for maybe 1% of the total internet.
Deep web Vs The Dark Web
Sometimes the dark web is mistaken for the deep web. The deep web is just websites on the internet that aren’t on google. The dark web, on the other hand, contains websites with a .onion extension and can only’ be accessed using a special browser. The most popular of which is called Tor. Prior warning before your curiosity gets the better of you and you start downloading Tor, it has been hacked several times.
Does it deserve its reputation?
If you are familiar with this area of the internet you might think of it as the world, wide web’s answer to Mos Eisley cantina. As in You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Is this deserved? Well yes and no. It is an area where people with niche interests go to hang out and share stuff. What niches you ask? Illegal pornography, suicide tips, cannibalism, snuff videos – all that kind of stuff. Not every website is like that of course, but plenty are. And even the seemingly trustworthy sites could contain malicious links.
Why most people go there
The majority will probably be looking to purchase something illegal. There are websites on the dark web where you can buy everything from illegal firearms to narcotics. Police have stated that there is a higher risk of attaining drugs this way then there is from buying them on the streets. To begin with, if they are imported from overseas, importing drugs hold worse punishments then buying them from a local dealer.
Police have also been known to set up sting operations. With the FBI making fake weapons dealing profiles in order to catch out criminals. Just a couple of years ago a handful of students from Manchester University were making a small fortune selling drugs on the dark web. The students were all arrested when their operation was busted.
In fact, there have been more than 1200 busts of people using the dark web for illegal purposes in the UK alone.
But I have to know
I’m sure there will be those of you who just can’t quell their curiosity. After all, how bad can it actually be? The answer is, pretty bad. However, if you simply do have to try it out a VPN will help to protect your IP address. This lessens your chances of being connected to any illegal sites you may stray on to (we will make the assumption that you wouldn’t deliberately use them.
Also despite it being unreliable using the Tor browser is far safer than using your regular browser. Although there are websites that make this possible, if you simply have to check out the Dark Web (and we strongly advise against it) then do so as safely as possible. But just so you know the risk of malware and Trojan horses is exponentially higher on the Dark Web. There is also a lot of stuff on there that simply can’t be unseen.