The rankings we publish may take into consideration the affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. The dark web is known for being a haven of criminal acivity. But it’s also a place for those looking to share resources anonymously, surf the web securely, and communicate safely without fear of persecution.
In order to have that, you’ll need to go one step further down into what is called the dark web. The dark web is undoubtedly a dangerous place, but it can also create a lot of good for the world. It’s useful for research, helping journalists shed light on injustice, communicating anonymously, and investigating criminal activity.
Antimalware and antivirus protections are equally crucial to prevent malicious actors from exploiting you. The dark web is filled with information theft from malware-infected users. Attackers can use tools like keyloggers to gather your data, and they can infiltrate your system on any part of the web. Endpoint security programs like Kaspersky Security Cloud are comprehensive to cover both identity monitoring and antivirus defenses.
Are you anonymous on Tor Browser?
This feature protects your dark web traffic without limiting your local network abilities by optimizing your speed and performance. In an attempt to stop the criminal organizations operating on the dark web, authorities are setting up fake websites to track possible criminal activity. By doing this, they get access to whoever is visiting the sites — and this includes you if you accidentally end up there. In some parts of the world, simply using a browser like Tor can get you flagged by these agencies, even if you don’t partake in illegal activity.
Similar to using a standard web browser to access the open web, the act of using Tor or a dark web browser to access the dark web is not illegal in and of itself. It is illegal to perform illegal acts on the dark web, regardless of the level of anonymity provided by the platform. The biggest differentiator between the deep and dark web is that dark web activity is made anonymous through a variety of encryption and routing techniques.
If used properly, the Tor browser allows surfers to stay anonymous and go to “members only” forums where they can use untraceable cryptocurrencies for their purchases. This is like the general reading room in your local library. The books are there, they’re precisely organized by theme and title, and you’re free and able to look everywhere. By accessing the normal internet, your device is accessing central servers which will then display the website. Why else would the police in Brazil, Germany, and the United States need to raid dark web e-shops like the Wall Street Market and the Silk Road? Charging the operators with a long grocery list of crimes ranging stolen data, drugs, and malware.
Conclusion: How to Get on the Dark Web Safely
What’s submerged is the deep web — an anonymous online space only accessible with specific software. Then there’s the dark web, which is the part of the deep web that hides your identity and location. You can’t just start surfing the dark web by typing something into Google. You’ll have to visit sites using their onion URLs or search with an onion search engine. We’re not going to dwell on what the dark web is or how it works. Suffice to say that too many users think they are safe from the prying eyes of ISPs and governments just because of the way the dark net uses onion routing technology.
Before we unpack the dark web’s threats, let’s explore how and why users access these sites. The dark web refers to sites that are not indexed and only accessible via specialized web browsers. Significantly smaller than the tiny surface web, the dark web is considered a part of the deep web. Using our ocean and iceberg visual, the dark web would be the bottom tip of the submerged iceberg. While Tor is perfectly legal to use, it’s common knowledge that a lot of criminal activity does happen on it. Rather than weeding out the genuine web users from the criminals, many website owners find it easier just to block all Tor users.
VPN: NordVPN for Mac
The thesis project of Ian Clarke, a student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, the Freenet was intended as a way to anonymously communicate, exchange files, and interact online.
- It refers to the unindexed web databases and other content that search engines can’t crawl through and catalog.
- There are reports of crowdfunded assassinations and hitmen for hire; however, these are believed to be exclusively scams.
- And use a VPN for Android or VPN for iOS to get a secure, anonymous connection.
- The Hidden Wiki and its mirrors and forks hold some of the largest directories of content at any given time.
- It is most noteworthy in its use with cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
- Anything that requires a login, such as databases or personal information is part of the deep net.
If the deep web represents everything online that’s not indexed by search engines, then the dark web goes even deeper. The dark web is completely off the grid, requiring specialized software like Tor for access. It’s where users go for complete anonymity in their dealings, legal or otherwise. There is regular law enforcement action against sites distributing child pornography – often via compromising the site and tracking users’ IP addresses.
DuckDuckgois a search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the filter bubble of personalized search results. If you try to access that same URL, through Chrome, for example, you won’t be allowed to view it. The browser is built on top of the Firefox browser open source code, so it’s pretty intuitive. Once you download and launch it, it will connect you to the TOR network and you’re good to go. In order to access the Tor network, you have to remain anonymous. This is not a request, it’s a prerequisite, and this is done through a special web browser called, surprisingly enough, TOR.
One option I2P recommends is downloading a software VPN if you wish to exit their network. However, a VPN will not provide complete attribution control when performing online operations. A secure managed attribution platform is a more effective way of saving you from potential threats. While it is not flawless in protecting user privacy, it works well enough to give users much more privacy in where they go, the content accessed, and protecting their identity and location.