dark web


The Dark Web. A primer.

July 20th, 2022

To understand the Dark Web, understand this: The Internet can be a weird place. So weird, that it’s got a bizarro version where none of the normal rules apply. You can think of it as a parallel universe or an alternate dimension, but it has a name: The Dark Web. Here’s what you should know about it.

The Dark Web is a shadow version of the Internet, where there are good actors and bad actors, according to the National Institute of Justice. People use sites on the Dark Web because of its built-in anonymity and the ability to let users keep their communications private and secure.

The bright side

In a certain light, the Dark Web looks like a privacy proponent‘s paradise. Legitimate reasons to use the Dark Web include journalists who need privacy to protect their sources against retribution, such as from the government or criminals. Human rights activists rely on the Dark Web to keep themselves safe when promoting reforms.

The dark side

But the anonymity and ease of concealing communications also make the Dark Web a hub for illicit activities. Think anyone who wants to sell or something they’re not allowed to sell or buy. Or provide a service—like a hacking operation, say—they’re not permitted to provide. You don’t need a wildly vivid imagination to see the appeal and how the Dark Web can be a pretty, well, dark place.

As Kaspersky explains, about 90% of websites constitute the “deep web,” which is not indexed by search engines like Google. You need to use a special kind of browser to access Dark Web sites. 

Connections pass through a series of random computer servers to disguise where people are accessing them. Dark Web browsers are not difficult to find. If your child knows how to download a standard web browser to connect online, it’s not much of a stretch for him or her to use Dark Web browsing software.

The parental side

Ideally, parents will keep their kids away from the Dark Web by being honest with them about the dangers of visiting unregulated internet sites. Chances are pretty good that your children are not political dissidents living in a dictatorship who need to use the Dark Web to protest against injustice and alert the world to ongoing problems.

Still, it’s good to know what it is. If privacy is a concern for your family (it should be!), steer clear of the Dark Web but use a VPN. Our sister company sells a good one. You can support this site by giving our VPN a try.

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