The internet is an extensive and intricate network of information, and while much of it is accessible through traditional search engines like Google and Bing, there is also a portion of the internet known as the “Dark Web” that is hidden from view. Another term for the internet we all know and use daily is the “regular” internet. According to GeeksforGeeks, the surface web makes up just around 4% of the entire internet, 90% is the deep web, and the dark web comprises just 6%. Although there are many hypotheses, nobody can be certain about these numbers. It is hardly unexpected, given how anonymous everything is. Surprisingly, the tiniest portion of the web is typically the most popular and accessible.
The Dark Web is a component of the internet that is not indexed by traditional search engines and requires special software to access. It’s where illegal activities occur and is home to some of the most dangerous elements of the online world.
The dark web is a secret network of websites that can only be accessed with a specialized web browser. It is used to maintain the privacy and anonymity of online activity, which is useful for both authorized and illegal purposes. The accessibility of it for potential criminal activities has also been reported, even though some people use it to avoid government censorship.
What is the Dark Web?
The Dark Web is an element of the internet that can only be accessed through specific software, such as Tor (The Onion Router), I2P (Invisible Internet Project), and Freenet. These software tools allow users to access hidden websites and communicate with each other anonymously.
The Dark Web is often associated with forbidden activities, such as drug trafficking, weapons trading, and human trafficking. While it’s true that illegal activities take place on the Dark Web, it’s important to note that not everything on the Dark Web is illegal. There are also legitimate uses for the Dark Web, such as whistleblowing, secure communication, and research. According to a recent analysis by Chainalysis, a top crypto-payment analytic firm, Bitcoin transactions on the dark web increased from about $250 million in 2012 to $872 million in 2018.
Dangers of the Dark Web:
While the Dark Web can be used for legitimate purposes, it’s essential to be aware of the dangers that come with using it. Here are some of the most significant risks associated with the Dark Web:
- Cybercrime: The Dark Web is a hub for cybercriminals who commit illegal activities such as identity theft, credit card fraud, and malware distribution. These cybercriminals often use the anonymity of the Dark Web to hide their activities from law enforcement.
- Illegal activities: The Dark Web is a hotbed for illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapons trading, and human trafficking. Users who engage in these activities risk prosecution and imprisonment.
- Scams: Many Dark Web websites are designed to steal users’ personal information or money. It’s essential to be vigilant and use caution when using the Dark Web. According to CPO Magazine, half a million Zoom user accounts were compromised and sold on a dark web forum during the first month of the pandemic.
- Malware: The Dark Web is also a popular place for cybercriminals to distribute malware, which can infect users’ devices and steal their personal information.
The Dark Web is a complex and dangerous place that should be cautiously approached. While there are legitimate uses for the Dark Web, users must be aware of the risks associated with accessing it. Cybercrime, illegal activities, scams, and malware are just a few of the dangers that users face when using the Dark Web. It’s important to use caution, be vigilant when using the Dark Web, and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.