What is the dark web?
The dark web is a relatively new term in the modern dictionary now, but surprisingly it had existed since the inception of the World Wide Web! It is like a hidden Pandora’s box; hidden from the common knowledge and accessible only by the ones who had known about it for a long time.
The U.S. Naval Research Laboratory had, in the beginning, thought about an ingenious way to access hidden data for monitoring the world market and also being anonymous while doing so. It opened a plethora of new opportunities for the black market and a whole new world soon started to take over in terms of illegal trading of drugs, illegal porn, gruesome stuff like selling of human body parts, nose-diving into private conversations and accessing valuable government and public information via hacking into their systems.
A large portion of the internet comprises of this dark web, whereas the commonly available search engines we use for daily searches are only about 5% of the entire thing. The objects you can buy on the dark web are scary. Guess the selling point? Total anonymity.
Specially designed encrypted sites use the open source software named ‘The Onion Router’ or tOr, which provides total anonymity to the user by hiding the IP address as it repeatedly encrypts and decrypts system information of the user.
Affect in today’s world
Wondering who uses the dark web? Of course, most of us are totally unaware of its existence, but the dark web has a serious and flourishing market among criminals. You can hire an assassin, buy weapons and arms and have them mail ordered to your home, deal thousands of dollars in buying and selling drugs and much more. Political liberators use this platform to release messages and propaganda directed for the masses. And as the information here is secured by firewalls and several layers of encryptions, it is exclusively impossible to get hold of the users.
In the business world, compromise of passwords means compromised customer security. You may never know where your data is landing up to! And this information and passwords are being sold at an affordable price at the online markets of the dark web.
To make matters worse, commoners like us do not put in much effort into setting up new passwords for the ease of remembering them.
How to safeguard/ protect ourselves?
1. Use new and strong passwords for every new account:
Do not have the same passwords for all accounts, which means if the hackers have your Netflix account they can also access your bank and credit cards.
2. Do not use personal credit cards for online transactions:
Check whether the website you are using for money transactions are encrypted or not. The web address will be https.// instead of http.// if it is.
3. Keep your browser up-to-date:
Configure your browser according to your security needs, to assure full protection, which is not the default situation.
4. Do not download suspecting links:
Links boasting of improper items on sale, movie links, and MMS or photo leaks are mostly scam links to hack your information.
5. Run scans for dark web protection:
There is software available online that can provide scans to check suspicious malware activities from the dark web on your computer.
Although it is not illegal to browse through the dark web, there is always some very advanced malware circulating the sites on the dark web and thus it is better to steer clear of it.
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** This post was originally published on https://www.fusionfactor.com/2019/06/dark-web-how-is-it-affecting-in-todays-world-and-how-can-we-protect-ourselves/ **