The dark web generally refers to hidden content on the internet that limited people can access through special software. Although it is often associated with illegal actions, there are legal activities that take place there. As such, there are many reasons why you may want to access the dark web, curiosity being one of them. While surfing the dark web is not illegal per se, it poses a significant threat to the ordinary visitor.
There has been a lot of information (and misinformation) about the privacy and anonymity of the dark web. Is the dark web safe? Generally, the internet is no longer secure, and there is a lot of evidence that might compel you to have reservations while surfing the dark web.
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Accessing the Dark Web
For starters, accessing the dark web might seem like a no-brainer. However, it is convoluted, and you’ll need to install a dedicated browser like the Tor Browser for Android or the Onion Browser for iPhone.
The browser will route your traffic through the Tor network, encrypt it, and bounce it between at least three nodes. Essentially, this conceals the origin of your data and, at the same time, makes it hard for someone to find your IP address. Alternatively, you can use the DuckDuckGo privacy-focused search engine, which also services the surface web.
What Can You Get on the Dark Web?
Typically, the dark web is the hallmark of privacy and often used for anonymous browsing. However, many individuals have exploited this anonymity. They use the dark web as a conduit for illegal activities such as selling weapons, hacked Facebook accounts, or cloned visas.
On the other hand, the dark web is also a mechanism for activists and whistle-blowers to advance their agendas. It is a vital tool in jurisdictions where people cannot voice their opinions freely.
Privacy and Safety Concerns About the Dark Web
Despite the promise of privacy and anonymity, the dark web is unregulated and is undoubtedly riskier than the surface web. Therefore, it is not uncommon for hackers and other malicious people to exploit this hidden side of the internet and cause harm to others.
The unfamiliar-looking sites on the dark web may make it difficult to distinguish between a safe and shady website. What’s more, the reputation of the dark web has made it easier for malicious parties to trick users out of large sums of money. More worryingly, these ill-natured people may attempt phishing scams to steal your personal identity and any other vital information. Therefore, it is not uncommon for new and even regular visitors to the dark web to fall victim to scams.
Malware is part and parcel of the dark web. Oftentimes, hackers in the dark web infect unsuspecting users with malware, intending to initiate a cyberattack that can have far-reaching consequences. As such, users who surf the dark web unprotected may expose themselves to phishers, ransomware, and keyloggers.
Surfing the dark web unprotected singles you out as a target for hacks and more. More importantly, you risk falling victim to scams and cyberattacks. Although the dark web promises privacy and anonymity, it does not offer the protection needed against cyberattacks.
Besides cyberattacks, surfing the dark web also puts you at risk of government surveillance. Based on the reputation of the dark web, the state almost always presumes that anyone utilizing it is a criminal or intends to commit a crime.
Government monitoring on the dark web happens through custom software that can infiltrate and analyze suspicious activities. It allows the government to uncover the identity of the users on a particular site. This would put you at significant risk, even if you were just browsing around.
The dark web is known to provide anonymity, but at the same time, it is marred with controversy. With all the potential risks associated with the dark web, it would be best to ensure that you are not a target for hackers. As such, if you have to browse the dark web, it is vital to do it anonymously.
Tools such as IPRoyal anonymous proxies provide privacy and enhanced security and block access to malicious sites. Therefore, you can rest assured that you are browsing safe