The darknet is simply an anonymous space on the web that can be abused or appreciated in turn. Unless you have permission, accessing someone else’s email or social media accounts is illegal. It’s also virtually impossible unless you steal their password or find a security vulnerability within the site.
- You should also check out our article on how to find active onion sites—we’ve listed some of the best dark web directories out there.
- As SIM swapping is a common tactic used by threat actors, it’ll help to get SIM-swapping protection.
- You don’t even need to use Tor Browser, but keep in mind other browsers can still pass identifying information through the network.
- Download Tor from their official website to make sure you don’t install a scam version.
Like I2P, Freenet is a self-contained network within the network that can’t be used to access sites on the public web. It can only be used to access the content uploaded to the Freenet, which is a peer-to-peer distributed datastore. Unlike I2P and Tor, you don’t need a server to host content.
These .onion URL addresses usually consist of a set of random alpha-numerical strings and can only be accessed with the Tor Browser. Wired published an article back in 2014 called “Use privacy services? The NSA is probably tracking you” which explains how the NSA is tagging people who were identified as TOR users.
Please don’t download anything you’re not 100% certain is legitimate to avoid the risk of compromising your data. Now that you have your VPN, you can proceed to download and install Tor from the official Tor website. This is as simple and user friendly as downloading any other legitimate program. After downloading the browser, it will show up as an application on your computer, which opens in a new window when you launch it. As it encrypts your data, using Tor and the dark web can give your personal information an additional layer of protection from hackers. When you connect to the internet using Tor, your data goes through multiple phases of encryption before it’s directed through a random series of servers called ‘nodes’.
Types of threats on the dark web
There is even a Facebook version, several Wikis, a site for whistleblowers and journalists called SecureDrop and mirror sites for BBC and the like. Speaking of malicious actors and software, you’re probably wondering if accessing the dark web will get you in trouble with the law. Instead, you need a special browser to access the dark web. Just like with regular browsers, there are several dark web browsers, but the best known is Tor or The onion router, which was created by the U.S. However, not all information is available on the surface web. Some of it is “below the surface”, or on the part of the web called the “Deep Web”.
That effort was never fully realized, but the US military published the code under a free license in 2004. Researchers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other groups continued its development and launched the Tor project in 2006 as a tool for journalists, activists, and whistleblowers. The dark web has no shortage of scams, phishing sites, and malware designed to trick newbies.
Researchers from Recorded Future estimated that while there are more than 55,000 existing onion domains, only 8,400 (or roughly 15%) of these sites were active. This means that the total network of live dark web sites is only about 0.005% of the size of the surface web. Tor Browser will let you access the .onion domains of the dark web.
You read more about the company’s history, and your heart swells when you learn that the company got its start when its three founders were only teenagers (what entrepreneurship!). They seem to have a pretty solid business model, and no major red flags are jumping out as you hop around the site a bit more. You will get the best browsing experience in terms of speed and security with this Silver security level. It corresponds to all the sites that are not indexed even if they are reachable with a classic browser. Sign Up NowGet this delivered to your inbox, and more info about our products and services. Software firm Hyperion Gray put together a map showing all 6,608 dark web sites crawled during January 2018.
All sites ending in .onion are considered as dark web sites. It may seem difficult to access the dark web on iPhone, but the right tools make it very easy. It’s quite convenient to browse it with your phone when you’re on the go, all this while being as protected as if using a computer. What’s submerged is the deep web — an anonymous online space only accessible with specific software.
Most internet users who delve into the dark web will use this option. The name appears alongside most references to the dark web, but how exactly does this dark web browser work? Tor was originally created by the US government as a tool for different military organizations to exchange messages and information anonymously. Even if your username and password are already on the dark web, MFA ensures that no one else gains access to your accounts. MFA can take the form of an authenticator app, email, facial recognition, fingerprint, push notifications, or SMS. However, email and text message MFAs are the least secure of all these options.
The Dark Web, however, can only be accessed by using the Tor browser. There is no way to accidentally stumble into it during typical browsing, such as social media accounts, shopping, or simply watching YouTube videos. For instance, detectives and journalists sometimes access the dark web to do research while maintaining their anonymity. At one point in time, you could even navigate to a Tor website and watch a slideshow of cats and kittens submitted by other users. The dark web’s inherent anonymity is helpful for political activists, journalists, and anyone living in regions that heavily restrict and monitor internet access.