It's probably a safe bet that everyone with internet access has heard of the infamous dark web, that lawless electronic realm where all the bad actors hang out. But what is it and where is it? Why don’t dark web sites show up when we search for normal things?
According to an article in Curiosity, 99% of the internet is inaccessible to normal web search engines. When you fire up a search in your search engine of choice, it rummages among the 4.5 billion websites that have been indexed. However, a Dutch researcher estimates that the total web may be 400-500 times larger than that!
First of all, that astronomical number isn’t all dark web/bad actor stuff. The majority of it is what is termed the deep web. And, we actually use it all the time without knowing it. It basically supports email, social media profiles, data used to fill out forms, and so on. In other words, it is boring and mundane. The contents aren’t indexed so they never show up in results. To me, it sounds like the warehouse or stock room behind the store. “Move along, nothing to see here” dull. Still, if you have the URL, you can access it by typing it in.
The dark web makes up a very small portion of the deep web and it earns its sinister name for a good reason. This is where all the illicit activity takes place that includes selling personal information, selling illegal drugs, and a variety of other services that form the plot of many spy and thriller movies.
In the dark web, everything is encrypted so there are no telltale DNS and IP addresses to identify the site and make it indexable. Even people who navigate the dark web have encrypted identities to make sure no one is aware of anyone else’s identity. If you know a dark web website address, you can type it in and go to it like any other website but that is pretty uncommon. Most require passwords to access or other credentials, kind of like a “bad actor only” club.
If you are feeling adventuresome, a word of warning, just looking at these sites can catch the attention of government security agencies. And simply using Tor, a popular piece of software for making and accessing dark web sites, might flag you which is ironic because, as the article says, the United States Navy developed it and the US government continues to fund its development.
Practice safe computing at all time! Apply patches religiously. Invest in good, reliable anti-virus/anti-malware protection. Don’t click or download anything for anyone you aren’t expecting to send something. If in doubt, go directly to the site in question.
Then trust your communications to CRIP.TO. With our hardware, software, and services stack, you have the best encryption solution available to regular people, organizations, and businesses. With CRIP.TO Black and Shield on the job, you have the freedom to communicate fearlessly. Your identity, privacy, and data could not be more secure.