Do You Ever Access the Dark Web?
All July, we'll be sharing information about the dark web.
Due to how the dark web is frequently discussed, there's a lot of fear and questions surrounding it. Primarily, people want to make sure their info isn't available for purchase or out there for other criminals to find.
But, one of the most common things people have questions and fear about - is they also want to make sure they themselves aren't accidentally accessing the dark web - nor sites that could lead to a leak of their information.
To better understand what the dark web is, it can be helpful to learn about the three levels of the internet.
The surface web can be visually explained as the top portion of an iceberg that we can see above the water line. The surface web the public part of the internet that anyone can access with a standard internet browser (like Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge). Search engines (like Google or Bing) "crawl" the surface web for new websites and pages. Basically, search engines look to see what new sites or pages have been created and then index their findings. When you search for a term or a website, the search engine shows you results from its index that it thinks best match your query.
Informational websites, news, e-commerce sites, video-hosting platforms and many other types of websites are all part of the surface web. While you may spend a lot of time on the surface web, it actually only makes up about 4% of the internet.
The deep web is the majority of the internet and visually can be explained as the larger portion of the iceberg that sits below the water line - or the portion you can't directly see. These pages will not be found in search engine results, but you probably use them every day. Here's a few things the deep web includes:
Secure storage: videos, photos, research papers, medical records and other data that are stored online, but only accessible with the proper credentials.
Pages that require a login: social media sites, streaming services, email and banking all have home pages that are in the surface web. However, once you log into your account, you enter the deep web.
Intranet: schools, business and governments may have their own private networks that are built just for the organization's use, but also connected to the internet.
Content that isn't indexed: a page, website or piece of content might be excluded from the list the search engines crawl and therefore won't show up in search results.
The difference and separation between the deep web and the surface web is essential for how we use the internet. You wouldn't want your bank statements to be found in someone's search results! However, the deep web is still connected to the internet, which means a criminal could break through security systems and access your personal information. A criminal breaking through a company's security system is what's called a 'data breach'.
The dark web is a portion of the web that is not able to be accessed with standard search engines or browsers and has been intentionally hidden. Visually speaking, the dark web would be similar to a small crack or crevice in the underwater portion of an iceberg that isn't easily found or seen. Similar to the deep web, search engines don't index the information that's on the dark web.
The dark web doesn't refer to a specific site or page, instead, it's a type of network. The dark web was initially created by the US Military and was a good idea in theory, as it allows human rights activists, journalists and political protests to exchange information while concealing their identity. However, it has also been filled with crime and illegal activities.
You'll most likely never come across the dark web. That being said, remember to keep your details safe.
If you have questions or want to make sure your company's information isn't available for sale on the dark web, contacts us today.
Brian McReynolds | 07/02/2021