The dark web is a cesspool of black-hat hackers, hitmen and human traffickers. It’s also the go-to place for people with damaging information about a company or government and want to share it without being traced. Despite the difficulty of accessing and using this part of the Internet, there are still some useful sites. For instance, the site Dread serves as a Reddit-like forum where users can discuss any topic they want.
1. Online Shops
Online shops can sell everything from illegal weapons and sex to fake IDs and stolen credit card information. Some of these sites operate on the dark web, which can only be accessed using Tor. Some reputable companies also have a presence on the dark web, offering services that aren’t always legal. For example, a search engine called DuckDuckGo is popular on the dark web, as it doesn’t track users’ personal data.
Other sites host secure services such as cryptocurrency wallets and anonymous email providers. Others help people avoid government surveillance and censorship. For example, Facebook has an onion site that lets people access the social media platform in countries where it’s blocked. Other well-known news outlets, such as ProPublica, have a dark web version that offers extra privacy and bypasses country blocks.
2. Social Media
Many social media websites allow you to connect with friends and family, but some are also used for not-so-legal activities. For example, the largest social media site in the world has a dark web version that allows you to create an anonymous account and access it from places where Facebook is censored. Other sites are devoted to file-sharing, such as BlackCloud. These sites use Tor to encrypt your data and keep you secure. There is also a website called SecureDrop that is used by whistleblowers to share sensitive information with journalists.
Other sites are private search engines, like DuckDuckGo, which does not monitor your browsing activity or share your personal data. Other sites are wikis and encyclopedias, including a few that focus on dark web content.
The cloak of anonymity provided by the dark web can make it possible for people to engage in illegal activity. This can include sharing child pornography and hiring hitmen, both of which are considered crimes in many jurisdictions. However, the dark web can also be used for more noble purposes. For example, Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization ProPublica has a Dark Web Sites where its investigative journalism is published anonymously. Also, there are sites like Hidden Answers where you can ask questions and get answers without being censored.
To access the dark web, you need software like Tor that routes your messages and searches through random computers around the world to keep you anonymous. It’s also recommended that you install and run strong cybersecurity software on your devices to protect them from malicious software.
4. Identity Theft
Data breaches can leak personal information to the dark web. This data can include passwords, credit card numbers, and social security numbers, all of which can be used for financial theft and doxing attacks. The dark web is a network of sites that aren’t indexed by search engines. It’s a place where criminals can meet up and exchange stolen information. Some of the most famous dark websites were illegal marketplaces that sold everything from drugs to weapons. The most notorious was Silk Road, which made over $1billion in sales before it was shut down by an FBI cyber task force.
Some services monitor the dark web and alert you when your personal information is posted on it. IDStrong, for example, pairs you with a restoration team that can work to secure your information before it’s misused.
When people think of the dark web, they probably imagine it as a hotbed for illicit activity: illegal drug marketplaces like Silk Road, gore sites and pedophile websites. These sites are only accessed via a special browser called Tor and require credentials to access. Some of these sites offer legal services such as bloodwork testing online while others provide illicit content.
Using tools such as Dark Web scanners, users can find out if their personal information has been stolen on these sites. However, addressing the most hair-raising activities is a challenge and requires increased collaboration between law enforcement agencies and financial institutions worldwide. Other dark web activities include contract killings, rape or murder on demand and child pornography.
The dark web is a secretive part of the internet that’s not indexed by search engines. It’s also a hotbed for illicit transactions like guns for sale, murder-for-hire, child pornography, and counterfeit goods. The infamous Silk Road was shut down in 2014. But other sites like Hidden Answers, the dark-web version of Quora and Reddit, offer privacy and anonymity.