The Dark Web is also considered to be a place for illegal behavior, from drug smuggling to human trafficking. That being the case, unfortunately. For cybercriminals, though, it’s still a playground. If you have suffered a security breach or cyberattack, you will find evidence there.
What is the Dark Web?
There are three primary sections of the internet: surface web, deep web, and dark web. The surface web makes up about 10 percent of the entire web and contains everything that can be found by entering words in a search engine such as Google or Yahoo.
The deep web (despite its predictive name) is literally where data that is not easily accessible by anyone is stored. This covers everything from subscription programs to bank accounts and medical information that is secured by a password. In fact, this section makes up the majority of the web.
The Dark Web is something that regular browsers such as Google Chrome or Firefox do not have access to. Any kind of knowledge can exist on the dark web, because of its more restricted accessibility, it’s just dark.
What is happening on the Dark Web?
What do users do? Well, some people just feel incredibly strong about their privacy, and even though they’re just playing online chess, they prefer to hang out where they can’t be watched. Some individuals want to interact beyond the control of governments they perceive to be tyrannical. Tor, for instance, claims its network was commonly used by activists during the 2010 Arab Spring uprisings. To support sources and whistle-blowers securely send confidential files, many journalism, and human rights organizations host SecureDrop on the Tor Network.
Many of the most commonly recognized sites on the dark web were offenders. The Silk Road market for illicit goods run by Ross Ulbricht (a.k.a., Dread Pirate Roberts), for instance, was shut down in 2015 by the federal government. (Ulbricht is now in jail, convicted on charges related to money laundering, conspiracy, drugs, and hacking). US federal agents smashed a network of fentanyl and other deadly illicit drug traffickers who sold via markets such as the now-closed AlphaBay in 2018. Then, in May 2019, two more dark web markets were taken down by foreign police: The Wall Street Market and Valhalla Market.
Is the Dark Web Problematic?
We do not want to leave you with the impression that it’s all malicious or illegal on the dark web. As an anonymous communication channel, the Tor network began, and it still serves a valuable purpose in helping individuals communicate in environments hostile to free speech.
The dark web has plenty to offer if you want to learn everything about privacy protection or cryptocurrency. There is a range of private and encrypted email services, anonymous operating system installation directions, and advanced privacy-conscious tips.
It is also content you wouldn’t be shocked to find on the public web, such as links from popular sources to full-text editions of hard-to-find books and a database of political news. You may secretly hold conversations about current events on the Intel Exchange. Several whistle-blower sites are available, including a dark web version of Wikileaks. The Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent website regularly shut down by law enforcement authorities, is alive and well. Even Facebook has a web presence in the dark web.
For certain organizations, there’s still plenty of practical value. Law enforcement officials have an ear to the ground on the Dark Websearching for stolen data from recent security breaches that could lead to a trial to the perpetrators. Whistle-blower pages looking for news are tracked by many major media organizations.
How to securely access the Dark Web?
If you have a valid or viable need to access the dark web, if you intend to use it, you may want to make sure you remain secure.
Tips for accessing the dark web in a secure way
Avoiding dark web file downloads directly.
In the lawless territory that is the dark web, the fear of malware infection is substantially greater. If you opt to upgrade, real-time file scanning from an antivirus program can help you search any incoming data.
Using a secondary non-admin local user account for all everyday tasks
By default, the native account on most machines would have full administrative privileges. Most malware would take advantage of this to execute its functions. As such, by restricting the in-use account to strict privileges, you can slow or halt the progress of exploitation.
Separate your identity from real life online.
You should never use your username, email address, “real name,” password, and even your credit card anywhere else in your life. If needed, build brand-new throwaway accounts and identifiers for yourself. Before making any payments, procure prepaid, unidentifiable debit cards. Do not use something that could be used to mark you — whether online or in real life.
Often keep access to your Tor-enabled device restricted.
Protect your kids or other members of your family so that they are not at risk of coming into something no one should ever see. If you’re interested, visit the Deep Web, but do not let children anywhere near it.
Trust your instincts.
To avoid getting scammed, you’ll want to protect yourself with smart actions on the internet. Not everyone is as they seem. Staying healthy means that you watch who you talk to and where you visit. You should always take steps to remove yourself from a situation if something doesn’t feel right.
Employ aggressive monitoring of identity and financial fraud.
Many online security providers now provide identity protection for your safety. Be sure to take advantage of these resources if they are made accessible to you.
Disable ActiveX and Java in any available network settings.
These systems are infamous for being probed and manipulated by malicious parties. Since you are traveling through a network filled with said threats, you’ll want to avoid this danger.
How Teceze can help?
Teceze Dark Web Monitoring service helps track and counter cyber threats that use compromised email addresses and passwords. We merge human and artificial threat intelligence to constantly track the web on your behalf in real-time – day and night, all year round.
We leave no stone unturned in searching for signs of compromised information pertaining to your organization – to keep you better secured. We’ll recognize any exposed and compromised credentials that relate to your organization’s email addresses and warn you immediately, as well as informing you of the measures needed to minimize risk.
If you’d like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The Dark Web is also considered to be a place for illegal behavior, from drug smuggling to human trafficking. That being the case, unfortunately.