Accessing the Dark Web — What You Should Know
Finally, after weighing all the pros and cons, you’ve decided to satisfy your curiosity and visit the dark web. You’re excited and maybe a little scared, but ready to see what the fuss is all about.
That’s great — but don’t forget to stay safe while browsing. The dark web is full of hackers, malware, and potentially disturbing content, so make sure to take all precautions. Here are some of the things you ought to know before you start surfing.
Is the Dark Web Illegal?
The short answer is no. Most countries don’t have laws that forbid the use of the dark web. However, that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to engage in illegal activity while you’re there. If you choose to buy drugs that are illegal in your country, you can (and most probably will) get arrested.
And keep this mind — even if you’re not doing or planning to do anything illegal on the dark web, your very presence there can make you look suspicious. The authorities know what kind of activity goes on there, so they might start paying special attention to your online escapades.
What You Need to Access the Dark Web
Since accessing the dark web comes with certain risks, it’s essential to prepare well. Here are a few basic things you need to know.
Online privacy is always important, but particularly so when you’re accessing the dark web. Before you even think of downloading the special browser, make sure to install and enable a VPN.
VPN, short for “virtual private network,” encrypts and thus anonymizes all your internet activity. When you use it, hackers and authorities will have a much harder time tracking your online activity. It’s not foolproof, but it certainly improves your safety.
Update Your Antivirus Software
The dark web is malware heaven. It’s not regulated, so hackers are having a field day over there. Before you begin exploring, update your antivirus program, and make sure it’s a good one. And don’t click on a link if you’re not sure where it might take you.
You can’t access the dark web using Chrome, so what should you do then? Well, there is a special browser called Tor that is most commonly used to explore the dark web.
Tor takes special care to ensure anonymity by channeling your internet activity through several IP hosts. This approach to browsing is called onion routing, and its purpose is to keep your information private.
Though Tor is famous as a dark web market browser, that’s not all it does. You can also access the surface web with Tor — the only difference is that your IP address will be hidden.
Now, even though it’s much more anonymous than Google, Tor isn’t foolproof. That’s why we always recommend pairing it up with a VPN.
Once you’ve set everything up, you’re ready to start exploring the dark web’s depths. You probably won’t know where to begin, so we recommend checking out the Hidden Wiki. You’ll find several categories and links on there that should help you navigate the dark web. Careful, though — although the Hidden Wiki is a good starting point, some links can still be dangerous.
It’s perfectly normal to be curious and want to explore the dark web — but you should be aware of the risks. Go into it prepared, and you’ll have a far more enjoyable experience. And remember; don’t do anything illegal!