The dark web, sometimes referred to as the deep web, is a part of the online space which is off the radar. It cannot be accessed via your normal Google Chrome or Internet Explorer browser. It requires the use of a particular browser called Tor. The content of the dark web is not normally indexed via the usual search engines, hence cannot be accessed easily through a simple internet browser.
If you have ever seen any YouTube videos about the dark web, you will hear many horror stories about those who dared visit this concealed area of the internet. It is renowned as a hub of online criminal activity. Researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid of King’s College in London viewed almost three thousand dark web websites and found that more than half contained illicit material.
Some stories indicate that it is a place where violent videos are showcased to viewers, containing human torture, abuse and murder. It is also a place where the black-market reigns supreme, where one can buy credit card numbers, drugs, arms, counterfeit money, and hacked accounts which can give you access to other people’s computers.
Word has it that curiosity killed the cat. Your curious side might be intrigued with visiting the dark web to see what actually goes on. Navigating through it is not easy and you would be surprised how easily you can find yourself in an unexpected place in the midst of scammers. We warned you.
As mentioned earlier, accessing the dark web requires a browser which renders you anonymous, called Tor. It works great with hiding your identity, but can lead you to an environment which is unpredictable and unreliable, and also slow.
The websites within the dark web look relatively similar to those outside of it. One key difference is the ending in the URL. Whilst in the normal online world we are accustomed with URLs ending with .com or .co, dark website URLs end in .onion. They also use more complex URL structures to make it extremely difficult to remember. In such a place, one can expect very little accountability. Buying a service via the dark web is risky not just due to its legal implications, but also there is the strong possibility that you will be scammed and pay money for nothing.
When we say money, in terms of the dark web, we should not be thinking about your normal average currencies like Euro, Sterling and Dollar. The dark web has flourished via bitcoin, which has been a key driver for its growth. Obviously, the fact that there is trading via bitcoin does not make it safe, as this anonymous place attracts many criminals. What else would you expect if you are off buying guns?
Although for some services there are rating systems, considering that everything is anonymous, it is quite easy to manipulate these. Even when completing a transaction, there is no guarantee that your selected products will arrive, especially when considering that customs officials are sophisticated in their tracking of suspicious packages.
The dark web also facilitates communication for those who live in hostile countries where voicing your opinions against authority can get you killed. One also finds the accounts of whistleblowers via specific websites.
With many different views on whether one should visit this place, we strongly recommend caution. You may never know if you have stepped in an undesirable place which can leave you with long-term negative consequences.