Caution: Have you heard about the Dark Web? Kim Komando has been warning listeners and Komando.com readers for years about this not-well-understood part of the internet.
It's where criminals sell illegal drugs, launder money and commit other crimes, often with little or no repercussions. It's a place where hackers buy your stolen credit card credentials and IDs. The Dark Web is not a place you want to visit without a solid understanding of what it is and what you're getting yourself into. So, proceed with caution.
Despite the Dark Web's sinister side, listeners ask Kim all the time for instructions how to get into the Dark Web. So, for informational purposes only, here is how to get in.
To be fair, you may have a valid reason for going to the Dark Web. You may want to see if your stolen items are being sold there. You may want to see if hackers are selling your ID, your credit card numbers or bank account information. You may want to see if your children or grandkids are up to no good online.
If you want to check on those things, we recommend you hire a skilled professional or reputable company to do the snooping for you. But, if that's not an option for you, anyone can get into the Dark Web.
Keep reading for step-by-step instructions to get on the Dark Web.
Note: Don't confuse the Dark Web with the Deep Web.
What is the Dark Web?
Simply, the Dark Web is the internet. It's sites and pages on the internet that are hidden from public view.
It's accessible with a bit of know-how. You have to know how to get in and, with enough motivation, you'll find you're there in no time.
The Dark Web is part of the internet that you don't see every day. It's part of the Deep Web, which is simply sites and pages that aren't made publicly available. That's a huge part of the internet.
There's nothing inherently bad about the Deep Web. For example, does your company have private pages where you access information that is only for employees? If those pages aren't registered with sites like Google, they're hidden from view. That's the DEEP web.
The DARK Web, which is part of the Deep Web, is seedier. These are sites that run on an encrypted browser.
Encryption is an extremely secure way of protecting your information. You can't easily get in without passwords or biometric access, such as your fingerprint.
You might remember that Apple got into hot water with the U.S. government after the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attacks. The killed attackers had an encrypted iPhone that Apple wouldn't help the government unlock.
Encryption, when used for good, protects your location and privacy from hackers and criminals. When used for bad, as on the Dark Web, encryption can prevent the police and government from spotting illegal online activities, such as child pornography, prostitution, drug sales and more.
How to Access the Dark Web
Despite its well-deserved reputation for being hard to find, the Dark Web is easy to access if you follow these three steps.
1. Most sites on the Dark Web run on an encrypted tool called Tor. There are other Dark Web tools, such as I2P, but it's believed that most sites use Tor. Go to: TorProject.org.
Bonus: If you want to protect your privacy, including your location, you can use Tor. It's a donation-based web service that you can use for everyday web surfing. Read more about Tor here.
2. Know the sites you're looking for. The Dark Web isn't accessible by Google and other search engines. You need to know the name of a site to visit it.
Tip in a Tip: You can remain anonymous online using encrypted virtual private networks (VPN) like DuckDuckGo.
3. Use a VPN to remain anonymous on Tor.
Warning: Before you visit the Dark Web, listen to Kim talk about it in this two-part podcast (links below).
Remember, we are providing instructions to access the Dark Web for information purposes only. We do NOT recommend that you visit the Dark Web.
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