What Is The Dark Web?

The ‘dark web’ is a term that you’ve probably heard a lot. The internet is divided into three branches: surface web, the dark web, and the deep web. What if I told you that what you have been exposed to, commonly known as the surface web, is just a tip of the iceberg, making up only 4% of the whole internet?

But what exactly is the dark web? The dark web refers to the part of the internet that isn’t visible or indexed by conventional search engines (Google, Bing & Yahoo) and requires the use of an anonymous browser to be accessed. To learn more about the dark web, watch the video below.

The browser used to access the dark web is known as The Onion Router (TOR). It uses a random path of encrypted servers, which help encrypt the traffic from your computer. This allows users to connect to the dark web without their actions being tracked or their browser history being exposed.

Why Use the Dark Web?

  • The surface internet doesn’t offer much privacy to users. For people that feel very strongly about their privacy and prefer to do things away from the public eye, the dark web provides the privacy they need.
  • If you live in a country like Iran, where popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are censored, the dark web enables you to access these sites.
  • Activists, protesters, whistleblowers, and journalists against government policies and oppression use the dark web to share information.

While the dark web enables good people to access privacy and avoid governmental spying and data collection, the same confidentiality level is available to criminals. The dark web is known to be the hub of criminal activities. These crimes involve the purchase of stolen credit card information, drugs, stolen subscription credentials, bank account information, customer data, counterfeit money and goods, trade secrets, intellectual property, company financial data, business operational data.  Software that may be used to carry out cyber attacks such as malware, denial of service, botnets, and keyloggers is also available on the dark web.

Having your company’s data available on the dark web presents you with many cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities. An attack may lead to the following:

  • Disruption of Business: A malware attack on your systems and the denial of service will lead to a stop in business operations.
  • Defrauding of Your Business: The attackers may demand a ransom to restore your business operations.
  • Devaluing of Your Business: A cyberattack may lead to reputational damage, financial loss, and loss of brand trust.

How to Safely Use the Dark Web

It’s not advisable to use the dark web, since you will expose yourself to multiple threats. However, if you must, there are certain precautions you should take to protect yourself. These safeguards include the following:

  • The TOR Browser Cannot Solely Protect You: The TOR browser only offers so much protection. It is advisable to install tails to conceal your IP address and leverage a VPN for extra protection.
  • Ensure That Your Operating System Is Updated: Before visiting the dark web, ensure that your operating system is updated to the latest version. Also, ensure that you have closed all applications that aren’t essential in your visit, and disabled your microphone and webcam functions.
  • Don’t Immediately Jump Back Into the Surface Web: Once you are done, shut down your computer. Monitor your computer upon startup and scan your computer for malware.

Your company’s data is vital as it drives all decision making. Having this data fall into the wrong hands may lead to catastrophic results.

Are You Worried That Your Company’s Data May Be on the Dark Web?

Discovery Information Technology has years of experience in offering cybersecurity solutions to businesses in Beaumont, Nederland, Port Arthur & East Texas.

Schedule an appointment with us today, and let us find out what information about your organization is out there on the dark web.

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