The millions of search results that we see from Google and other popular search engines are just a tip of the iceberg and only come from the surface web. There is much more that lies in what is known as the deep web and the dark web.
Let me elaborate on the surface, deep, and dark web.
The Surface Web
It is that part of the web that is readily available and visible with the common search engine. It has the results as displayed by Google chrome and other standard browsers.
The Deep Web
It is everything on the internet that is not indexed by search engines. To access websites here, you will need to have their exact links.
Most search engines crawlers are unable to see sites on the deep web. Part of what makes the deep web is the dark web.
What is the dark web?
The dark web or darknet is a deeper layer of the internet’s deep web. It is also invisible to common search engines and is only accessible using special browsers, such as the onion router (Tor).
Websites on the dark web are .onion sites and are associated with all sorts of illegal activities such as the hiring of hitmen, black market for drugs, and trafficking.
This web is also famous for deploying anti-censorship measures. Here, users can express and share their concerns anonymously. A user’s identity and location are obscured allowing privacy, protection, and anonymity.
Main security dangers of the dark web
Whether you are visiting the dark web for some intellectual information or to satisfy your curiosity, note that there are cybersecurity dangers. I will share tips on how to arm yourself before taking the deep dive but first, here’s a preview of the main dangers.
〈#〉 Malicious software
There is a batch of malicious software such as keyloggers, botnet malware, and ransomware preying on user data on the dark web.
There’s plenty of this available for sale too in what is referred to as malware as a service.
〈#〉 Online scam
Noting that the deep web runs devoid of any censorship, it is easy to fall for fake offers. Some of these are valued at very high prices with no cash-back guarantees or means of claiming it.
〈#〉 Identity theft
A notable segment of the dark web marketplaces thrives on stolen or leaked data and personal information. There is plenty of this available for hackers and as you may expect, they are always searching for more to replenish their ‘stores’.
As such, it is quite easy to become a victim of identity theft while on the ‘dark streets’ especially if you do not have reliable cyber safety tools in place.
〈#〉 Illegal and distributing services
Most of the services available on the dark web are just too much. Expect to see things such as a market for; hard drugs, unregistered fire weapons, blueprints of legal and illegal stuff, disturbing footages, violence promoting content, and so on.
How to stay safe against malware while on the dark web?
Here’s what you can do to increase your protection against malware.
〈#〉 Secure your connections with VPN
Protect your online privacy by using a VPN for security. This is an effective way to encrypt your internet traffic whenever you are on the surface, deep or dark web.
VPNs tunnel your internet traffic through a private and encrypted network masking it from any form of censorship or snooping.
〈#〉 Use the Tor browser
After securing your traffic with a trusted VPN, go ahead and download an up-to-date version of the Tor browser.
Updated antimalware software will help detect, block and keep malware at bay while on the dark web. The Malware bytes is one of the best anti-malware software available in the market. Safety Detectives has posted an honest review of Malware Bytes.
〈#〉 Access websites judiciously
Avoid opening websites or following every other pop up mindlessly while on the dark web. Always stick to .onion sites.
〈#〉 Protect your identity
Do not disclose your personal information or grant access permissions to websites. Avoid any downloads because they may contain data collecting malware which might end up exposing your personal information.
The dark web is a hub of information, but without the right precaution, things might get ‘darker’ for you. To raise your guard, use the Tor browser and practice the safety measures discussed above.