Terms like Dark Web and Deep Web are often used interchangeably; however, there is a difference. The dark web is only a small portion of the deep web.

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This is a dangerous area where illegal transactions take place. To visit the dark web, you must have a special browser and a VPN. There are a few other precautions recommended. But even then, you may not be safe. The dark web is one of those places that you enter at your own risk.

The Deep Web is comprised of all the sites that Google does not index. This can include educational sites, email services, public websites, government databases, corporate databases, newspapers, Facebook posts, and most websites that require a subscription.

How Big is the Internet?

Google has over 35 trillion web pages in its index, but this is only about 4 percent of all the information that exists on the web. Experts say that it’s impossible to know how much information actually exists on the web. It could be 500 times more than Google has indexed. Talk about the tip of the iceberg!

How Do I Enter the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is comprised of nefarious places that sell contraband like guns and drugs. Though the FBI does monitor and sometimes bust sites like these, they go on day and night. There’s seemingly no way to prevent this type of illegal trade from taking place. The Silk Road was a popular site for years that did a lucrative business on the Dark Web. There you could purchase fake IDs, illegal drugs—it was the Black Market of the web. Then in 2013, the FBI shut the site down and arrested the owner. Since then other similar sites have sprung up but the FBI keeps a close eye on them.

This Back Alley of Main Street USA requires a special browser such as Tor (the Onion Browser), Freenet and I2P. You also need a VPN. This is a way to mask your IP address so your identity is hidden. A VPN basically builds a virtual tunnel between your computer and a remote server. This prevents anyone from spying on you. The data is also encrypted so that even if it were intercepted, it would still be secure. The outside party would not be able to trace the data back to you.

A Word About VPNs

With the enormous increase in malware and ransomware infections, it may become necessary for everyone to use a VPN in everyday life. If you’ve ever used public Wi-Fi at a coffee shop or the airport, you exposed your data to lots of different people who could have hacked into your phone or laptop and stolen important information. Encryption will probably become a way of life for most of us over the coming years as well. VPNs and encryption have proven to be excellent ways to stop your data from falling into the hands of hackers. An IT provider can help with both.

How to Access the Dark Web

If you’re dead set on exploring the Dark Web for yourself, then we’ll give you a few tips for success. After all, not all sites there are associated with illegal activities. For instance, WikiLeaks was first created on the Dark Web as an underground area where whistleblowers could openly talk about things that they felt were wrong about the government, Wall Street and corporate America.

Below, are step-by-step guidelines for safely accessing the Dark Web. Remember that you enter at your own risk:

Step 1: Download the Tor browser bundle onto your computer.

Step 2: Once the download is complete, install all files, following the screen prompts.

Step 3: Now you must connect Tor browser via your internet connection. In most cases, you can just press “connect” and it will find your internet service and connect automatically.

Step 4: There are some settings that you can configure that will help you have a better experience. For instance, you should use a search engine called “DuckDuckGo” to ensure privacy. Also, go to Settings>Content and click on “Block Pop-up Windows.” Go to Privacy and click “I do not want to be tracked.”

It can also be helpful to install a VPN service such as Hotspot Shield or ExpressVPN. These services do charge a monthly fee, but they allow you to access sites safely. Your privacy is protected since your connection is routed through a server that hides your actions.

Security Tips

In the Tor Browser extension there are several settings you can select that may be helpful. Some people think these do more harm than good but you can choose to “Forbid Scripts globally” and turn on “NoScript.” Do more research if you’re unsure.

In spite of all precautions you may take, it’s still possible for some government organizations to track you.

IT Consulting in Philadelphia

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