The dark Web is comprised of websites that are visible to the public, but their IP address details are intentionally hidden. These websites can be visited by anyone on Internet, but it is not easy to find the server details on which the corresponding site is running, and it is difficult to track the one hosting the site.
The dark Web concept is achievable with the help of anonymity tools. Some popular tools are Tor and I2P. The dark Web is popular for both black market and user protection, so it has both positive and negative aspects.
The dark Web ensures one’s privacy by effectively hiding the server or IP details from the public. The dark Web requires special kinds of software to access. This software acts as a gateway to the dark Web. Once the user gains access, then all the dark websites and other services can be accessed in a simple way with help of browsers.
The dark Web includes a wide range of networks, from small, friend-to-friend/peer-to-peer networks to large, popular networks such as Freenet, I2P and Tor, operated by public organizations and individuals. Some of the categories of Web-based hidden services include:
Most dark websites are not directly accessible via a normal search made through a search engine; they effectively hide themselves. They are accessible only if the addresses of those sites are known to the user. Some methods which hide websites from normal searches are:
- Private Web which requires registration
- Contextual Web varies as per IP
- Limited access content where access is limited to certain licensed contents
- Non-HTML/text content
- Software where data are intentionally hidden from the regular Internet and made accessible only with special software, such as Tor, I2P, or other darknet software
- Web archives which are archived versions of Web pages, including websites which have become inaccessible, and are not indexed by search engines such as Google
The industries which operate over the dark Web are known as darknet markets; this includes black market sales of illegal products, to stay hidden from governments and law enforcement agencies. The dark Web is also used in other ways, like communication between whistleblowers and protecting users from attacks or surveillance to ensure privacy in communication. But the dark Web is mostly used in black markets as it promises total anonymity.
The deep web is just like it sounds — below the surface and not completely dark.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are able to search and index websites because of links. They use links to rank search results according to things like relevancy, inbound links, and keywords. Browsers search the so-called “surface web,” but that’s where the search stops.
For instance, if you wanted to search a public library catalog to find a book, you couldn’t type the title into your browser’s search bar and expect Google to return a meaningful result for your library. That level of information would be located in the deep web.
The reason search engines can’t return this data to you is because there are no links. (Search engines crawl the internet by visiting one web page, then the links on that page, and then the links on subsequent pages.)
Instead, you would have to go to the public library’s website and use a search bar inside the website to locate this data on the library’s servers.
This kind of information is all over the internet. Almost every time you search internally on a website, you’re accessing deep web content.
What’s on the deep web?
The deep web holds the content that’s invisible to search engines. Here are a few examples of what’s on the deep web:
- The content of your personal email accounts
- The content of your social media accounts
- The content of your online banking accounts
- Data that companies store on their private databases
- Content contained within scientific and academic databases
- Medical records
- Legal documents
A lot of what exists on the deep web consists of information that you probably wouldn’t want to turn up in a web search — like your checking account information — because it’s private and could be misused.
A rule of thumb: If you have to log in to one of your accounts, the information you access is on the deep web.
That’s a good thing. The deep web can help protect your personal information and privacy.
we can classify www( world wide web ) into thee parts –
- Surface web(4% of internet) – These are part of www that are accessible to everyone. Websites of skin web are easily accessible through search engines like google and yahoo. e.g facebook.com etc. These are accessible through normal web browser like chrome , safari etc.
- Deep web (96% of internet)-These are part of world wide web that are not available/accessible to everyone these are some confidential websites or links that are accessible to limited individuals e.g Some Banking sites , payment links,some confidential informations of investigating agencies like CIA,RAW etc. These are accessible only by direct links through normal web browsers.
- Dark web(subset of deep web) – These are part of world wide web where user can access anything on internet by going anonymous. Dark net was formed to give private space on internet to the users but now dark web mainly used for illegal activities on internet. e.g Drug supply, contract murder, Hacking etc.These are not accessible through normal web browser.
How to safely access the deep and dark webs
If you browse the deep web — even if it’s just to check out your dental bill — it’s a good idea to equip your device with trusted security software and keep it up to date. We already talked about using a VPN on public networks.
Here are a few tips and tools to help stay safe when using Tor and other browsers. There’s a lot more to consider, but this should give you an idea of some of the issues — good and bad — to consider.
- Tor is known for providing online anonymity, so it can be effective for sharing sensitive information with family or reporting corruption or abuse.
- Keep Tor and Tor applications updated. Make sure your device’s operating system is also up to date.
- Don’t use your regular email on websites when using Tor. While Tor is designed with anonymity in mind, providing your regular email address could expose your identity.
Browsing the dark web, and online security
The presence of illegal activity calls into question the “character” of some dark web denizens. That’s why it’s important to take care to help protect your personal information and identity.
Poking around on the dark web is where some people get themselves into trouble. Unlike the deep web, which contains important and useful information, the dark web is riddled with illegal and unconscionable activity.
Because Tor servers keep users and publishers completely anonymous, there’s no way to regulate or control the content, products, and services being offered inside the dark web. Plus, there’s no way to trace communications or keep financial tabs on responsible parties because all payments are made and received using Bitcoin, a digital currency that operates independently of a central bank.
On the flip side, there are publications on the dark web that believe it’s the only way to obtain and sustain a truly free press.
Before you get lost in the dark, be sure to educate yourself on the dangers of the dark web. Make sure you install and run strong security software on your computer and devices to help ensure the privacy and security of your data.
To learn more about how the deep and dark webs work, check out the documentary “The Most Dangerous Town on the Internet – Episode 2: Where Cybercrime Goes to Hide.”
In general, don’t underestimate the darkest side of the dark web. Here are a few additional things to keep in mind.
Browsing the dark web can be dangerous
There are people and things on the dark web that you’ll want to avoid. Here are a few of them:
- Viruses. Some websites could infect your devices with viruses, and there are a lot of different types of viruses to watch out for. Remember to never download anything from websites you don’t trust.
- Hackers. You can find hacker forums on the dark web. You can hire computer hackers to do illegal activities. Not surprisingly, a lot of these people would be willing to hack your devices.
- Webcam hijacking. A website on the dark web may try to get a remote administration tool — also known as a “RAT” — onto your device. That can lead to someone hijacking your webcam — essentially, letting them see what you’re up to through your device’s camera lens. It’s a smart practice to cover your webcam with a piece of paper or tape if you’re not using it.
Dark web content may be illegal
Anytime you’re in the company of illegal drugs, illegal content, and other sordid online activities, you could risk landing in legal trouble.
A mistaken keystroke or simple curiosity might not be a reliable defense. Here are two examples of dark web content and activities that would raise legal concerns.
- Sharing pictures and videos of child pornography. In one FBI arrest, the perpetrator traded material on a website with more than 100,000 registered users. The FBI busted him.
- Purchasing illegal goods or services. If you buy illegal drugs or hire a hit man, you can be arrested for committing an illegal act. But browsing a website that offers those two things would not be illegal.