There are many words in today’s cyber world that are scary. Two of those words that strike fear into the hearts of many people are the dark web. Not only does it sound scary, but many regular computer users don’t know where it is or how to gain access to it. It seems like only the bad guys know how to get to it and how to use it against the rest of us. Additionally, even though it is scary, many people don’t know what can be done with it and more importantly, how to protect themselves from it.
What is the Dark Web
The dark web is a part of the internet that allows operators to remain anonymous or untraceable using special software, authorization, and specific configurations. It contains an encrypted network that is not searchable using traditional search engines and browsers.
The most popular application to get to the dark web is the Tor browser. However, it is dangerous to use and should only be used by people who know what they are doing, which is probably why there are so many unscrupulous people using it. If you want to browse the dark web, you should also take steps to protect yourself such as connecting via a Tor browser VPN.
What is the Dark Web Used For
Traditionally, the dark web has been home to drug sales and child pornography. However, other uses include whistleblowing (because it is anonymous) and protection from surveillance and censorship. Unlike places like YouTube, the dark web will allow a user to say and do pretty much anything they want, legal or not.
Furthermore, users can buy credit card numbers, counterfeit money, buy usernames, buy passwords, and break into other people’s computers. Basically, if done right, hackers on the dark web can access all your information and use it without your permission for illegal purposes.
How Can Consumers Protect Themselves?
It is frightful to know hackers can get access to all your information and perform so many illegal acts through the dark web. But, there are some things users can to do protect themselves. There are websites, like https://truthfinder.com/dark-web/, that provide a fee-based service to scan the dark web for you to find out if your information is on it and provide monitoring.
If you sign up for one of these services and find out your information has been compromised, there are several things you can do to protect yourself. The measures include contacting your bank and creditors, putting a fraud alert on your credit report, freezing your credit, and going to authorities. Additionally, there are a few things you can do right away if you just want to play it safe. You can change your passwords, monitor your credit reports, get a paper shredder, and use a locking mailbox.
Fear is something hackers on the dark web create when they engage in illegal activities, like identity theft. The dark web, which allows users to anonymously encrypt networks, permits hackers to access all your personal information, including passwords, credit information, and even your computer.
However, as consumers, we do have some weapons against it and we need to be diligent about monitoring our personal information. With some changes, users can help reduce the risk of the dark web and help thwart the illegal activities that are engaged online.