The ‘dark web’ is a section of the Internet that, unlike the surface web, is not accessible via standard search engines.
- If users wish to visit the dark web, they must use specialised browsers, such as Tor or I2P, which enable anonymous communication through encryption.
- Because of this focus on protecting users’ identities, the dark web has become a hotbed for crime and illegal material. For example, a 2016 study carried out by King’s College London found that over 55% of the material available on the dark web is considered illegal.
- For those looking to buy & sell a wide range of illegal drugs and weapons, or for fraudsters out selling stolen accounts and hacking software, the dark web serves as an ideal marketplace. Users’ identities remain hidden and transactions (usually carried out in cryptocurrency) are incredibly difficult to trace.
- Something to also be aware of is the difference between the dark web & the deep web, as the two terms are often confused. Whilst the deep web is also hidden from standard search engine results and protected by encryption, it is largely filled with sites used to store information (eg. people’s email accounts, company intranets & databases etc.).
- See Video below for more information…