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Written by Hitachi Systems Security on 20 September 2021

The Dark Web and the Dangers That Lurk

There are billions of web pages on the internet that you can find with the click of a mouse. Whether you are looking for a new doctor, dentist, or trying to buy decorations for a party, the internet is a wondrous place.

You can watch movies, sports, television, and videos uploaded by just about anyone from all corners of the globe. But there is a deeper, darker part of the internet that many people do not know about called the dark web.

What is the Dark Web?

The dark web is a set of websites that can only be accessed by using a specific browser. These websites are not indexed by search engines and cannot be easily found by conducting a Google search. People who operate on the dark web do so to perform an illegal business activity, avoid being tracked by the government, or remain anonymous in their search.

How is the Dark Web Accessed?

One can only access the dark web using a specific browser, known as Tor. When you use Tor to explore the dark web, your IP address becomes untraceable, which means you can search for just about anything your heart desires without worrying who will see your search history.

What Can I Find on the Dark Web?

The dark web has a reputation for being strictly for illegal activity. When companies issue press releases about data breaches, all of the information stolen in those breaches can be found on the dark web for sale. You will be able to find the following on the dark web:

  • Stolen credit card numbers
  • Debit card numbers and pins
  • Checking and savings account information
  • Firearms
  • Pornography
  • Drugs
  • Social Security numbers
  • Usernames and passwords for email accounts and streaming services
  • Human traffickers
  • Government extremists
  • Conspiracy theorists
  • Hitmen

 

What Can I Legally Do on the Dark Web?

Believe it or not, the dark web isn't just for illegal or shady activities. You can use the dark web for legal activities too. The dark web has its literary journal known as The Torist. The Torist is a collection of poems, short fiction stories, and essays from authors all over the globe.

You can also access papers, articles, and reports on the dark web that might otherwise be locked behind a paywall on the regular internet. This helps you save money when researching for work or school.

Did you know that you can send email anonymously, post on social media, and use search engines anonymously when on the dark web? The dark web has search engines that do not sell your browsing data to retailers like Bing and Google. There are alternative social media sites on the dark web instead of using Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Is the Dark Web Dangerous?

The bottom line is that the dark web can be dangerous, especially if you do not know what you are looking for when visiting. If you don't have an intended destination, you should avoid the dark web altogether. Just because browsing the dark web is anonymous, it doesn't mean that your computer can't pick up malware.

More importantly, the dark web is where thieves can sell company data. So while you may not use the dark web, information about your employees, clients, or financials may be up for grabs putting your reputation in jeopardy. Stolen data can be purchased in seconds, causing a public relations sandstorm before you can blink--we've seen it happen more times than we can count!

Let us help you find out if your data is on the dark web (we can do that!). Reach out and let us know that you'd like a dark web report, and we will be happy to assist. You may know about the dark web, but we promise the people making money from your data do!

cybersecurity, compromise assessment, cyberdefence

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