Who’s Afraid of the Dark Web?

I had heard of the dark web in passing but had not thought much about it until reading the recommended articles. It was been impressed upon me from a young age that “what is done in the dark will come out in the light”. Since the dark web appears to be as nefarious as it sounds, it’s not an area that I would think to explore. I first heard about the dark web in the 2008 movie “Taken”. The plot being Liam Neeson trying to save his daughter from an exclusive sex trafficking ring operated from the dark web. Needless to say, I got the message to stay away.

But how much of this reputation is true? According to Daniel Meissler in “The Internet, the Deep Web, and the Dark Web”, while there are legitimate uses, the dark web is “often associated with criminal activity of various degrees, including buying and selling drugs, pornography, gambling, etc.” The dark web is not indexed, requires special proxying software, and allows for anonymous browsing. The appeal to many is ultimate privacy.

This is a great video that highlights some of the uses of dark web and how criminals leverage the network.

The deep web is an area that we probably have utilized without thinking about it. The deep web is “a subset of the Internet that is not indexed by the major search engines. This means that you have to visit those places directly instead of being able to search for them.” These sites are not indexed and require a password or security credentials to access. Here are some examples:

  • Personal email accounts and social media accounts
  • Online banking accounts
  • Medical records
  • Legal documents

Not much excitement on the deep web; however the deep web may give a false of privacy. As we learn more about how the web works, we are learning that their really is no true privacy on the internet. Algorithms are at work and for those that fail to read the small print, private information can be sold to the highest bidder. Data breaches are not uncommon and hackers abound. To be able to move about online with absolute privacy? The dark web might not be as bad as it sound.

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