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Understanding Online Safety: Exploring the Dark Web

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If you’re someone who uses the internet daily, sending emails and showing your YouTube skills, there may still be unexplored territories on your Internet map. What if I were to tell you that the Internet has much more to offer, but only a fraction of it is visible?

Beyond the surface, lies a deeper layer that common browsers cannot access – the dark web and deep web. However, accessing this part of the net can be unsafe unless you take certain precautions. So, get comfortable and discover how you can safely explore the Dark web.

How to Protect Yourself When Exploring the Dark Web

When people talk about the dark web online, they usually mention its association with criminal marketplaces and the arrests made by law enforcement agencies. On the dark web, you can find thriving illegal businesses like drugs, weapons, and stolen IP and data, with a massive amount of information available. Traders profit from selling stolen credit card data dumps, initial access points to vulnerable systems, credentials, and intellectual property stolen during cyberattacks against companies.

However, the dark web offers more than just what a small group of criminals engage in. It provides organizations and individuals with various uses and opportunities. But there are also a lot of cyber risks that if you put up with, you could become a commodity for one of these hackers.

#1 Use a VPN, be sure to

Using a VPN can hide your location and prevent online traces that might lead back to you. When a VPN is active, it encrypts your connections, safeguarding you against eavesdropping and man-in-the-middle attacks. You can usually choose the location you want to appear from, and VPNs employ various servers and relays to make it challenging to trace your IP. VPNs are also helpful for accessing geo-restricted content on streaming services.

For the best options, consider paid and subscription-based VPNs, as free alternatives often slow down your connection or collect your data. Also, pay special attention to log-free VPNs that do not record your activities or any data about you. A good no-log VPN knows nothing about you, which means that even in the event of legal proceedings, it will not be able to transfer anything to law enforcement agencies. VeePN has exactly this concept, plus it has passed a security audit. You can start with a free trial period and be protected even on the Dark Web.

#2 Take Safety Precautions

To safely access the Dark web, simply activating your VPN is insufficient. You need to consider all the applications currently running on your computer. For instance, close all the apps where you have accounts, such as your password manager, streaming apps like Netflix, and storage apps like OneDrive. Consider closing all non-essential applications for browsing the Deep web.

Additionally, ensure that you cover your webcam (if you haven’t already) and disable the location on your device. Moreover, it is crucial to have a high-quality antivirus software tool installed.

#3 Tor Browser

To download the Tor Browser, visit the Tor Project. This browser shields against online fingerprinting bypasses website blocks and prevents trackers from profiling your browsing habits. The Tor Browser adds layers of encryption for enhanced anonymity and integrates the DuckDuckGo search engine, which doesn’t save or log your search queries. Check the settings and opt for the “safer” or “safest” options for a more secure experience, disabling potentially risky website functionality like rogue JavaScript.

The Tor network relies on the efforts of numerous worldwide volunteers who maintain the proxy servers that safeguard your identity. You can further strengthen Tor’s security by downloading a VPN iOS or whatever platform you’re currently using. On your iPhone or iPad, use the Onion Browser app to access the Tor network. This app employs DuckDuckGo as the default search engine and is supported by the Orbit framework for secure network access.

#4 Check for IP leaks

Even if everything is already set up, there is still a task that remains: checking for leaks that might expose your personal information. To accomplish this, enable your VPN and visit websites like ipleak.net and dnsleaktest.com. These sites will help you determine whether the displayed IP address is your actual one or the one provided by the VPN service.

Is It Legal to Access the Dark Web

Remember, in most countries, accessing resources on the dark web is legal. However, engaging in criminal activities through the dark web is against the law. If you explore websites on the dark/deep web without proper protection, authorities may scrutinize or investigate you, even if there is no evidence connecting you to illegal activities or purchases.

Final Thoughts

The Dark Web forms an exclusive layer of the Internet. It remains unindexed and necessitates specialized software for access. Its domain structure stands distinct. You require a tool like the Tor browser to connect and ensure anonymous sessions.

As a result, the privacy advantages draw a diverse crowd. You might have come across the infamous darknet markets. However, they serve as a platform for activists to exercise their privacy rights and express their opinions freely. In any case, security in this segment of the Internet is a key task for all users.

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