The good and the bad of the Deep Web
The Internet is an extremely large place which includes components that you may be unaware of; the dark web being one of them. The dark web is a collection of websites which are not indexed by conventional browsers and tools. They cannot be searched using conventional search engines like Google either. These websites can only be accessed using certain tools or programs. The most commonly used software is Tor, and some others include I2P and Freenet. The dark web has both criminal and legitimate aspects to it.
The criminal aspects of the dark web
Owing to the fact that the dark web helps users reroute their IP address, location and activity, it is often used for numerous criminal activities. These activities include black markets for drugs and guns, child pornography, fraud, sex trafficking, hacking and abuse among many others.
According to a study by the University of Portsmouth in 2014, child porn was the most sought-after content on the dark web. Silk Road is a classic example of the dark web being a haven for drug traffickers. The website, an online black market for drugs such as heroin, LSD, marijuana, ecstasy and steroids, was shut down by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The dark web is also known to be used for terrorist activities by various terrorist groups.
The legitimate aspects of the dark web
While the dark web is commonly used for illegal activities, it is operated for legitimate purposes as well. In countries with heavy Internet censorship, the citizens use the dark web to access social media such as Facebook. In 2016, Facebook was accessed through the dark web by almost a million users because they were banned from accessing it in their country. The dark web is also a tool for journalists to ensure that their sources remain anonymous. The dark web can also be utilised to gain access to uncensored news using websites like Hidden Answers and Flashlight. They can also be employed to ask questions which people may normally feel ashamed of asking.
It goes without saying that you must be absolutely careful while operating the dark web as it is mostly used for criminal activities. Businesses can get adversely affected by the dark web as it is also used to indulge in phishing and scams. It is important to ensure that your IT service provider employs the most secure technology to protect your business data.