The Dark Web. There is a buzz nowadays of this term. You might have come across the term either in movies, the mainstream news, social media, or internet forums or you might have not heard of it at all. But not everything you might know about the dark web is true. Therefore let’s bust some myths about the dark web.
But first, know the different parts of the web. The Internet is often categorized into three parts
The Surface Web- The surface level consists of all websites and content that have been indexed by the search engines like Google.
If you can locate any page using a search engine, then it is a part of the surface web. This consists of billions of websites that are available to everyone with just a click away. We all access these websites every day.
The Deep Web-The Deep Web is a classification of web pages not indexed by the search engines which means you cannot access the deep web content using a search engine.
An example would be your email content which you can read but is not available to be accessed on the search engine.
The deep web content is hidden behind HTTP forms and includes content like academic databases, banking portals, webmail accounts, and internal company records.
You can access the deep web content by direct URL but might require some sort of password or security access to go beyond surface pages.
Dark Web-The Dark Web is the deepest layer of the web which forms the unregulated part of the internet. It is a subset of the deep web. The are hidden and can be accessed using special browsers like Tor Browser.
No rules apply here and are the cause of a lot of illegal activities like selling malware, stolen credit card information, illegal drugs, etc that take place there. It would be false to say that the dark web is only a place for criminal activities.
It is also used for legitimate purposes such as medium for anonymous expression for the citizens and activists of oppressed countries and suffering from censorship, journalists looking to protect their sources and even the military.
Some of the Dark myths everyone should know
1. Dark Web and Deep Web are not the same thing
People often confuse dark web with the deep web using it interchangeably as if they were the same. The myth is also propagated by the news and the popular media.
The deep web is simply non-indexed pages of the web that you can not access through Google or any search engine whereas the dark web was designed to protect the privacy and therefore is accessed through special software anonymously.
2. The Dark Web is bigger than the normal web
The surface web comprises of more than a billion websites. The deep web content is definitely bigger than the surface web as it contains all the backend information and records. The dark web is the smallest comprising tens of thousands of websites.
The Tor browser has fewer users than normal browsers. People confuse the deep with the dark web and therefore the myth got propagated. In fact, the dark web forms less than 1-2 % of the total web.
3. It is illegal to access the Dark Web
The Dark Web on its own is not illegal. You can download the Tor browser and use it to enter the dark web. What you do on the dark web will determine whether it’s illegal or not.
You might also accidentally click some fraudulent, illegal links. It is best to be careful before . The Tor Browser uses encryption which is illegal in many countries.
4. The Dark Web is a hub of crime
The common view of the dark web is that it is only used for crime and illegal activities. However, the dark web also serves as a major platform for the activists of oppressed countries to voice their opinions.
Journalists use it to protect their sources while privacy advocates and whistleblowers use it for communication. In fact, you can also use websites like Facebook which have a presence on the dark web.
5. The Dark web is the hub of cybercrime
A lot of illegal activity takes place on the dark web but that does not mean that it is a hub of cybercrime. The surface web is way bigger and it is here that most cybercrimes happen.
Most of us operate on the surface web making it easier for us to fall prey to cybercrime. On the dark web, it is easier for criminals to gather and exchange information for communication. There are many hacking forums on the dark web.
6. The Dark web is only for the Tech People
People usually think that the dark web is some locked part of the web that has to broken through by a nerdy Tech guy. No. The dark web is not that hard to access. You just need to make sure that your country allows downloading of encryption browsers like Tor.
It is easy to set up Tor which is available for download on the surface web. Once you install the browser you need some onion address to explore the dark web. You can also explore dark content through the Hidden wiki.
7. There are deeper layers to the Dark web
There is a myth that there are deeper sections to the dark web that are hidden. These sections are much darker called Marianna’ web, charter web or the Quantum deep web containing the most horrifying content and Psychopathic stuff. But these are all just stories and myths that are just not true at all.
8. The dark web is controlled by the Government
This is one of the most absurd myths around. The Tor network principles were developed by the United States Naval Research. The US Government also gives money to the Tor project leading to stories that the dark web is controlled by the government.
But this is not true at all. The government makes use of Tor for safe communication. This myth is around as it helps conspiracy theories to spin-off a lot of content that seems attractive and spooky.