When people hear the phrase “dark web,” it automatically invokes negative connotations. What many people don’t know is that it can also have some legitimate purposes. We will be delving into these reasons in further detail below.
What is the Dark Web?
The dark web is a network of websites that traditional search engines cannot have access to. To access the dark web, you would need a special web browser called Tor which can access special websites with a domain suffix of ‘.onion.’ This is so that only certain proxies can navigate to those sites, while others cannot.
Users have protection due to the anonymity offered by the network, as the data cannot get transmitted to other sources.
What is the Dark Web For?
Being on the dark web is not illegal on its own. However, many nefarious transactions take place on the dark web, including buying drugs, guns, hacking software, and selling stolen credit card numbers. Many of these transactions take place through the exchange of digital currencies such as Bitcoin.
In some cases, the anonymity of the dark web can be a source for good rather than evil. For instance, journalists often use it so that they can interview their sources while still keeping their identity private. The informant would be able to submit their proof or information without having to fear the possible repercussions of their actions. This is incredibly beneficial, especially if they are helping to take down a criminal organization.
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Another reason is if you want to discuss your medical history with an anonymous source. Some doctors offer safe platforms on the dark web where patients can ask them anything without fear of judgment or criticism. This is the same if an addict wanted to talk to a doctor about getting clean, but they didn’t want the stigma to follow them in their real life.
Some countries have banned social media websites to censor what their citizens have access to view. Facebook has a dark web site for users who wish to share and communicate content with one another.
Law enforcement officers will sometimes peruse the dark web in hopes of catching child pornography distributors, human traffickers, thieves, and murderers for hire. The officers will be pretending to have an interest in the service, only to manipulate the situation and catch the criminals in the act.
Sometimes, people just really value their privacy and use the dark web because of its secure encryption. They prefer to use Tor as their browser to do their everyday web searches. These individuals may simply be playing online games or reading the news online, but they enjoy knowing that their data will remain anonymous.
Tips for Using the Dark Web
If you have decided to give the dark web a try for a legitimate reason, be sure to take some precautions. The first thing to do is to update your device’s anti-virus software. There are many opportunities to fall prey to malware and viruses, so make sure that you have sufficient protection to defend against those.
A second tip is to stick with websites that you are familiar with and comfortable with. Many websites contain illegal and explicit content, which you should steer clear of. As soon as you complete your business on the web, disconnect from Tor.
Finally, do not share your real email address on any dark websites. By doing so, you are providing an ample opportunity for someone to expose your identity, defeating the purpose of using them in the first place. There are services available online that can generate temporary, fake email addresses that will be perfect for you.