Depending upon who created it, the website name can be anything from a random string of numbers and letters to something meaningful. For example, Duck Duck Go is a search engine based in Pennsylvania that is popular on the dark web. Accessible only with special software or browsers that make users anonymous. Data is encrypted, or scrambled, into a mess that only the right digital key can decipher. Second, when you create new passwords you should create strong passwords, and check your bank and credit card accounts for fraudulent activity. You should never share passwords with anyone or leave passwords in a desk drawer or on a sticky note.
China uses what is known as the “Great Firewall” limit access to popular sites for this exact reason. The risk of being a visitor to this content could lead to being placed on a watchlist or immediate targeting for a jail sentence. When it comes to dark web safety, the deep web dangers are very different from dark web dangers. Illegal cyber activity cannot necessarily be stumbled upon easily but tends to be much more extreme and threatening if you do seek it out. Before we unpack the dark web’s threats, let’s explore how and why users access these sites.
Peeling the Onion
First, since Google doesn’t index for dark web sites, you can’t find any by using a search engine. Just to open a dark web site, you have to use a special browser. It is used to reconnect the customer with the last agent with whom the customer had chatted.__lc2_cst2 yearsThis cookie is necessary to enable the website live chat-box function. The cookie stores the language code of the last browsed page. TechRepublic does not condone illegal or unethical activity.
However, DuckDuckGo doesn’t keep track of your usage and also shows .onion websites in its results. Would you like to know more about this search engine and how it helps to keep you anonymous while browsing? Commercial darknet markets mediate transactions for illegal goods and typically use Bitcoin as payment. These markets have attracted significant media coverage, starting with the popularity of Silk Road and Diabolus Market and its subsequent seizure by legal authorities. Silk Road was one of the first dark web marketplaces that emerged in 2011 and has allowed for the trading of weapons and identity fraud resources.
Darknet Market Sites
While it’s not illegal in many places to simply get on the dark web, the dark web is used for some illegal purposes. Many things for sale on dark web marketplaces are illegal, like ransomware or other strains of malware, illicit drugs, weapons, and in some cases, even human organs. The surface web makes up only about 10% of the entire internet, and includes anything you can find by entering terms into a search engine like Google. All the websites you visit that don’t require login credentials are part of the surface web. Then in 2004, Tor was created by the US Naval Research Laboratory to give military personnel an anonymous way to use the internet without giving away their identity or location. On the other hand, the dark web welcomes more distinct groups of users, like criminals, whistleblowers, or political dissidents, who leverage off the anonymity the dark web provides.
- Since all communications are encrypted and anonymous, the Dark Web is a haven for internet trolls.
- The release of Freenet in 2000 is often cited as the beginning of the dark web.
- With the Tor network , our IP address is also changed but there can be vulnerabilities.
- In addition to illegal content, there is also a good deal of material on the Dark Web that will no doubt disturb or sicken you.
- If you become a victim, report the identity theft as soon as possible.
Malicious software, also known as malware, is a critical concern and can affect unsuspecting users. Even simply browsing the dark web out of curiosity can expose you to such threats, like phishing malware or keyloggers. While an endpoint security program can identify such threats if they end up on your computer, it’s ideal to avoid them altogether. The short answer is no, it’s not illegal to browse the dark web.
👉 TRY NordVPN Risk-FREE
Use of Internet-scale DNS distributed reflection denial of service attacks have also been made through leveraging the dark web. There are many scam .onion sites also present which end up giving tools for download that are infected with trojan horses or backdoors. Everything from phishing email scams to data breaches to malware on your computer can expose your personal information—credit card numbers, CVV codes, or social security number—to hackers.
To see if the .Onion URL you’re trying to access is v2 or v3, the most telling sign is the length of the URL. But make sure the VPN you’re using meets a few basic criteria. The Dark Web search engine collects a list of known .onion sites and makes them available for search after filtering out child abuse content.
The difference between the dark web and the deep web is that the deep web refers to websites and web pages that aren’t indexed by search engines, like login pages and payment portals. The dark web, by contrast, is configured on darknets, which are online networks that can be accessed only with special software and techniques. That said, there’s more to this lawless digital frontier than its reputation as a hive of grotesque content and organized crime. Of course, that anonymity makes it harder to spot scams and confirm important information, and enables all manner of criminal activity, so it cuts both ways. Privately access the same content you usually do — or go deeper.