What most people use when they search for stuff on google is the surface web, and to be honest, it is a broad enough collection of information. However, there is an even vaster and really interesting aggregation of information on the web–it is called the “dark web“. They say the internet is 10% the surface web and 90% the dark web.
From classified secrets to illegal arms and drugs marketing to child pornography and spying activities, the dark web can be a horrible place to visit. Did I mention that you risk losing private details to ever-prying hackers too? Yes, you do; you should know that good intention is not a commonly shared commodity. This is why you must be cautious and protective when venturing into those dark territories of the web.
Now let us see how you can access the dark web safely. Achieving this comes by leveraging two aspects: applications and cautionary measures. Let us look at both of them briefly.
Tor Browser: This tool is very necessary for anyone who intends to use the dark web. The name stands for “The Onion Routing”, and just as it suggests, when you make a query, it travels through a network of relays around the world like the wraps of an onion. The idea is to conceal the identity of whoever is behind the original screen that made the request. It is like every other browser except that it is different; it is however as user-friendly as Google chrome. Anyone who is familiar with using the internet can use the Tor browser.
When downloading the browser, ensure that you only do so from their official website. It is free and can be gotten from torproject.org. You might also want to check out step-by-step how to do so here.
Virtual Private Network: Fondly known as VPN, this tool can be very important if you really need higher layers of anonymity. Remember I mentioned that the Tor browser conceals your information by navigating your query through many nodes or servers before directing it to where it was intended to be sent? Well, sophisticated agencies or hackers, who are ready to put in effort and time, can still get to you. A VPN adds another layer of anonymity in the sense that it completely alters your IP, making you technically invisible.
You would have to combine these two applications when accessing the dark web to maintain maximum security.
There are a few measures that you can also take to establish your safety on the dark web. Remember that this part of the internet is where cybercriminals stay, so you must not leave any hole from which they can penetrate. The following are some best practices:
- Cover your camera with paper tape when on the dark web
- Close all windows when you are done and reboot your computer after using the dark web
- Close all other apps when surfing
- It will help to know where you are going precisely
- If you must do any transaction, use cryptocurrencies
The summary is: use both Tor and VPN, and take the measures as a tradition, and you would certainly be good to surf the dark web. Enjoy!