Many people have heard about the dark web, but only a small percentage of internet users scratch the surface. It’s a mysterious place on the world wide web that contains every kind of content you can think of under the sun. Unfortunately, it includes a plethora of cyber threats and other illegal activities.
We talked about the differences between surface, deep, and dark web in our previous article and also covered the fact that browsing the dark web is legal, so this begs the question: even if exploring the dark web is technically legal, is it actually safe?
After all, diving into the invisible part of the internet using a special browser like The Onion Router seems secure enough, but you have to remember you’ll be virtually swimming with unregulated users and cybercriminals too.
Exploring the Common Threats You Can Run Into In the Dark Web
1. Malicious Software
Seeing as the dark web is like a den for cybercriminals, it’s no surprise that space itself is littered with malware. Many hackers find the tools they need to breach your data on the dark web, while others use malicious software to lure and infect unsuspecting users.
Some of the common malware circulating the dark web include keyloggers, botnet malware, ransomware, and phishing malware. That’s why even if browsing the dark web is legal, you’re putting yourself at risk of falling victim to the throng of exploiters lurking in the deepest corners of the internet.
2. Government Monitoring
You know now that the dark web isn’t entirely for felons, but the fact remains that many cybercriminals use this to conduct illegal activities. That’s why it’s no surprise to see strict government monitoring and risks of police authorities hijacking certain websites known for illicit trading, such as the drug-laden marketplace known as the “Silk Road.”
This means that innocent bystanders who have no ill intentions can still be placed under the authority’s watch list for years to come.
The dark web won’t be complete without your daily dose of scams, and unsuspecting users can easily target seasoned scammers offering illegal services. Many of these attempts are present in the surface web and public domains. However, it’s also common for lurkers of the dark web to use its reputation to its advantage and trick unaware visitors into paying larger sums of money.
The Bottom Line: Knowing the Common Problems You’ll Face When Browsing the Dark Web
The dark web is brimming with mystery far beyond the average internet user’s reach and while accessing this shady corner isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s important to proceed with extreme caution.
While there are legitimate websites on the dark web, it’s good to trust your intuition and avoid pressing suspicious links. Always protect your personal information, avoid downloading files, and generally don’t do activities that would put you at risk here and on regular domains.
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