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What is the dark web and how can it impact me?

A person on the dark web.


It’s a part of the internet that has secrecy as its watchword

The dark web contains both good and bad elements.

The dark web, also termed “the dark net,” refers to a corner of the internet made up of coded web content that isn’t accessible via regular search engines. Also, you can’t find it using just any ordinary browser. Instead, users need to use certain browsers that can access the dark web.

Some browsers that can access the dark web include:

The dark web provides an extra layer of secrecy in addition to whatever services are available thereon. Sites hosted on the dark web make use of ciphering and encryption to hide their owners’ and users’ identities and locations.

Ways the dark web can impact you

The dark web can affect you both positively and negatively.

1. It protects your privacy, making it possible for you to unabashedly air your views on various matters—especially on controversial subjects. This saves you from political persecution if you hold views that differ from those of the governing power. 

2. It makes it easy for unscrupulous people to fund and commit crimes. You could fall victim to one of them.

3. Just as much as it helps you maintain your privacy, it can also help violate your privacy because it’s particularly suited for the sharing of private photos, medical records, financial details, and other confidential and sensitive information. If your information is exposed, you could end up a victim of identity theft or credit fraud especially.

4. The dark web can help combat crimes because it helps undercover police officers communicate effectively.

5. It serves as a hub for illicit trade. This could include the trade of drugs, firearms, credit card and debit card numbers, bank details, passwords and usernames for online services such as streaming services, and even social security numbers.

Keep in mind that it’s perfectly legal for you to surf the dark web. However, getting involved in whatever illegal trade is being conducted there is illegal, and the law could come for you. Last year bore witness to one of the biggest takedowns of the dark web cliques when almost 180 drug vendors were arrested in the U.S. and Europe.

If for any reason your details end up on the dark web and you fall victim to fraud, take a look at our post about how to protect yourself now and in the future.

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