What do you think happens on the dark web? You might think exclusively of drug dealing, hiring hitmen, and the selling of Social Security Numbers. If those are your only thoughts on it, it makes sense that you’d want to stay as far away from it as possible. After all, there’s no way anyone could use that to do good, right?
In actuality, plenty of people surf the dark web every day to do legitimate things. They consume legal entertainment, talk to friends and family, and even purchase general goods. They just do it carefully. If you’ve never thought about using the dark web in a legal manner, consider these reasons you might want to start:
-You can avoid censorship
-Find specialized websites and content
It’s Incredibly Private
For many people, the dark web sounds scary. The idea of talking with anonymous people on a network of sites that feature genuinely terrifying behavior isn’t exactly thrilling to most people. However, that’s only part of the story. The dark web can be a very safe place if you know how to use it properly. This was, in fact, the guiding light for the dark web’s existence to begin with. Tor, the browser that’s essentially the key to accessing the dark web, was created and is maintained to protect users’ privacy.
The Tor browser is named after the acronym for “The Onion Router,” a reference to “onion routing.” This concept, which Tor uses to make its users anonymous, essentially sends you through dozens of proxies, eventually losing the original source. That allows you to stay anonymous to do what you want to do. Whether you’re just interested in reading copyrighted books or you’re planning to start a revolution, the dark web can help.
It’s true that this privacy has also had unfortunate side effects, including the illegal communities that have sprung up inside it. However, it’s a crucial part of its popularity among law-abiding citizens as well. With so many proxies built into the software, you can do what you want without the fear of being tracked.
That tracking can be as benign as annoying ad targeting or as intense as avoiding people who want to hurt you. It’s important to remember that this privacy is a double-edged sword, and it can allow someone to fake an identity easily. Staying cautious on the dark web is a must.
You Can Circumvent Government Censors
Again, this is actually one of the reasons the dark web as it exists today was created. The Tor browser is routinely used to access the internet as a whole in countries with governments that restrict access to certain portions of the internet. There’s even a function built into the Tor browser that allows it to be set up from inside a country where it’s banned.
A number of societal movements and changes have been built on the dark web. Many individuals in strictly controlled countries such as Saudi Arabia or North Korea can use Tor to contact friends and family outside of the area without fear of being tracked by the government.
There Are Specialized Websites
When you use the dark web, you don’t just get access to a clear version of the internet where you can’t be tracked. You get brand new services that you genuinely can’t get anywhere else. It has its own range of websites. And those websites aren’t found on the general internet, for the most part.
Some of the most interesting dark web sites include a cadre of scientific papers that would otherwise be behind a paywall, and a user-run wiki that categorizes website links. There are even mirrors of existing websites that you probably already know of, such as ProPublica.
Staying Safe on the Dark Web
Plenty of legitimate reasons exist to use the dark web. It’s not all drug dealing and hiring hitmen! While perhaps a strange place to be, it’s also a great place to be anonymous and pursue your interests.
However, due to its shady nature, it’s important to take due diligence to the next level. It can be quite difficult trying to tell who’s being honest on the dark web. Whether you’re buying, selling, or just chatting, you need to make sure that the other party is legitimate. An online people search service could help you find info about people you meet there. (Assuming you have their real name, of course…)
The dark web may seem to be primarily a frightening collection of websites with nefarious intent. However, large portions of it are not only safe, but also highly useful for those who simply want to remain anonymous.
It never hurts to be extra careful, though. A people search or background check could make it easier to try and find info about people you meet. That may be someone you’re buying goods from, or someone who’s buying from you. Or maybe it’s just someone whose shadowy virtual company you enjoy.
Image attribution: cendeced – stock.adobe.com