Many have been talking about the Dark Web up until the point where the people started to reveal creepy pasta type of stories about it and YouTubers have turned it into a way of making money by accessing deep web sites and purchasing Mystery Boxes with BitCoins without even knowing what is inside them, just so they can give their audience “the creeps”. And since curiosity is something that has always been in our nature, in this post, we have created a post explaining the deep web in detail and showing you ways in which you can at least access it safely. Be advised that by entering the Deep Web and Dark Net marketplaces, you can unknowingly put yourself in danger, so this is why we have also added a few extra tips regarding your behaviour there, if you want to stay safe while browsing.
What Are Deep and Dark Web?
Be advised that the Deep Web and the Dark Net are two different things. To summarise this and simply explain it to you without digging into technical nonsense, here is what both mean in brief:
Deep Web – The web that is below the surface, but not completely dark and cannot be found with your typical search engines, like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Generally it is a safe place.
Dark Web – The web that goes deeper than the “rabbit hole” of Alice’s wonderland. Very dangerous and often associated with illegal activities, but interesting information can also be found, although the place is full of disturbing stuff.
If you want a full explanation on how exactly they work, you can find in the related article below:
What Are The Risks of Accessing Dark Web?
Many want to access dark web. Some do it for the thrills while others have way more sinister reasons to do so. If we had to explain the dark web, it is an anonymous and internal network, often accessed through the Tor (“The Onion Router”) browser and this network is comprised in a similar way to how a VPN works, however the difference between the two is that the Tor network is completely internal and uses servers that are configured in a way that will guarantee your anonymity by dividing your network traffic packets through different nodes (servers) each time you access it, and summing the traffic through what we know as “exit nodes”. And even if people control those exit nodes, there is no way to tell for sure that they will be able to decrypt the information on your computer and it’s source. So to control your privacy if a hacker wanted to, they will need to control your own Tor browser and hence know your source IP address so that they can locate you. Even though this is not proven to work, there have been many deep web cyber-criminals who have already been busted, like the oner of the SilkRoad website, Ross Ulbricht.
Here are the main risks that you should be aware of before accessing the dark web:
- Encountering criminals.
- Breaking the law for things you do in the dark web.
- Links that lead to dangerous and disturbing content.
- Encountering undercover law enforcement officers, operating on the dark web in order to catch criminals.
- Malware and hackers aiming to access your computer.
Steps to Safely Access the Dark Web
First and foremost, to access the Deep Web, you will need to download and install the latest version of Tor Browser – something you should already be familiar by now, but if not, simply see the instructions on their site and go through the installation. Be advised that you should also keep the browser regularly updated, since there was a number of vulnerabilities for Tor out there.
But before going in, you will need to know how to completely secure your computer. Below we have laid out the main steps that you will need to do in order to secure your device.
Step 1: Download Malware Protection. We suggest using the tool underneath, since it can block most malware before even landing on your machine. For Mac users, you can also download the tool underneath it which is also very powerful:
Step 2: Install a VPN! Yes, VPN services can indeed help you stay anonymous online from the Government and ISPs, even though they are companies and must obey the law, so you must really be careful as to what you are doing. But there is also an upside to this, because some VPN companies promise a No-Logging policy, meaning that they will not collect your information, when you use their services to change your online identity. One such service is VPN Unlimited, which offers a Trial and a ton of extra features added to it, plus it works with a lot of operating systems as well. We have already done a software review of it and you can read more about CyberGhost and download the program by visiting the software review below.
Step 3: Use Sandboxing. Sandboxing is a very clever way via which you can allow your computer to run programs in a separated sandbox, preventing any deep web virus file to take over your computer. One such program that can be used is called Sandboxie, review for which you can find underneath:
Step 4: Secure Your Files. If you want to access the dark web, probably the best way to do that is to make sure that your network connection is extremely safe. This is why, we would strongly suggest that first and foremost you secure your important files. There is a ton of ways to do that and we have posted the most secure methods to make sure that your important data is safe in the related article underneath:
Step 5: Secure Your Network. This step is very crucial, especially if you want to use your Home network to access the Dark Web. According to network security experts with an extensive experience in malware attacks on home and organisation networks, you should focus on the following key areas in order to build a secure network on your home:
Prepare The Network According to Your Budget
The main thing you need for a secure network is secure devices and for that, you should invest the appropriate amount of either time to learn about securing networks or money, if you are planning to purchase a more advanced router that will allow you to separate your device.
Establish Protection and Intrusion Detection
This is the area with the highest importance according to security researchers. It combines configuring the proper network and simultaneously keeping cybersecurity in mind. These types of networks are strongly focus on separating the users that are allowed to access your networks. This can be done by accessing your router and making sure that the IP and Mac addresses of only computers authorised on the network can be allowed to use it. This way, you will have only trusted machines on your network.
Another key area is your router or switch device. These types of devices often have vulnerabilities that can easily be used to access their passwords, so make sure that the Firmware of the router is updated. But this is not all, since the encryption key of the router may also be at stake, as people found out that a new attack can compromiseWPA and WPA2 security. So make sure to choose a good and secure encryption too plus a very long and strong password with a long and complex pre-shared key. And we also recommend that you enable as many security features on your router as possible so that you prevent any tampering with the router itself. Such features can be a strong router admin password, a changed router IP address and enabled DDoS and router VPN protection as well.
Another very good practice is to also add an extra layer of protection on all the devices connected to the network too. This means that all of the laptops, consoles, smartphones and other devices best be either secured with their own VPN or if not, simply disconnected from the network.
Tip: One budget and simple way to secure your network is by simply purchasing or using an old laptop that you don’t need and going to a public Wi-Fi, like one in the park or some other cafe, where you can secure your laptop with the measures we have added above.
Step 6: Always check the sites before visiting them. There are different levels of private websites on the Dark Web. These sites can be seen if you search for .onion sites web links. One such place which holds thousands of Dark Net sites is the Dark Web News website. But being the Dark Web, there are also websites that die fairly quickly so make sure to always search for an updated list. Also, be advised that there are also invite-only web links whose primary goal is to lure you into deeper, private parts of the dark web, where you can find almost anything.
Step 7: Disconnect your camera and microphone.
As crazy as this might sound, you can never fully eliminate the risk of being compromised. This is why you should at least eliminate the chance of being seen or heard, since many users who accessed the Dark Web have complained about malware activating their cameras and microphone so that the hackers can tap into what is happening. So by entering, it is best to assume that someone is always listening.
Step 8: DO NOT use your real name and passwords.
Any same passwords and real name can definitely compromise your security. This is why, to stay safe, you must not type anything even remotely related to the information you have on your personal Google, Facebook, Twitter and other accounts.
Conclusion on Accessing The Dark Web
The Dark Web can be accessed fairly easily only with the help of Tor browser. But recently, it was discovered that there were vulnerabilities in the browser itself, so it is suggested to employ extra measures to fully secure your network and the device using the Dark Web. On the bottom line, we do not know for what reason you are trying to go there, but either way, you should not leave your cybersecurity in the hands of luck when you do so.