Still Searching What’s Dark Web? STOP!

There are many things around the world, some good and some bad. Good things can easily be found on the surface and more people want to connect with it because this is how our society but still some things have the power to destroy our society and that is why it is hidden from the world. I would say that it is also right not to know about these things so negativity can’t play with your mind. But it would be foolish not to know about those bad things in today’s time, as it will give awareness of what can go wrong and keep you safe.

The mystery I am going to talk about is known as Dark Web. When most people think about the internet, they think it’s just about checking the news, using social media or watching videos, etc. But this is just the world you see from above, there is also a very different internet world in depths which terrorists, criminals, mental peoples, top-secret spy and high security, etc., access daily, which you or me can’t track them down.

The internet can be understood in such a way that the internet we use only uses a small portion of the web from our common browser such as Google Chrome. According to experts, there are only 4 to 10 percent you can use the internet from your browser or search engine. And according to the rough estimate, there are more than 1 billion active and public sites on the internet such as Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Amazon which come into use daily. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the sites isn’t legal or used.

Most of the internet websites are also legal, but the data there is different, and they are hidden from common man because of security reasons as well as private records of the public is being stored there such as bank transactions, medical records, financial records, legal documents, etc.

The dark web is the part of the internet that comes after deep web, which deliberately hides IP addresses from web search engines. And all these websites can only be accessed by one special web browser named Tor Browser. The concept of the dark web is different, and the websites of the dark web cannot be explored with the simple Microsoft edge or any other browser. Even the domain name of those sites is not .com or .pk instead its “. onion”.

The reason why onion is given such a name is also a great story behind it. Just like ordering things online from Daraz, Amazon etc, terrorists, fake dealers, drug smugglers, fake passport dealers, credit card hackers, etc make confusing and secret transactions from the dark web because they get complete privacy and secrecy.

Let’s rewind the past and understand this. Did you know, we got the internet initially with the help of military technology researchers. Similarly, in 2002, the US Navy’s Naval Research Laboratory realized that their communication system was not secret and secure. And they had to update the security system so that no one could access their communication. It was then that they developed a software that was later named as onion, in short, The Tor. As the onions have many layers and they all are curved. Similarly, data will never be transferred directly from one connection to another in the same network. Rather, it will pass through the different communications routes around the world, which is why it’s impossible to trace the user. And in the dark web, websites can only be accessed through The Tor, and so websites also host their anonymously and that’s exactly how user’s location and their IP addresses are hidden in the dark web, which makes it difficult to track them and to detect their browsing history.

Well in the beginning this software was just for military intelligence and communications. But later on, the US gave this software to secretly communicate with the government of slightly irresponsible countries, such as China, North Korea, Iran, etc. So that the communication between them stay secret but then the software started to leak from there and went public.

And today, the dark web has begun to be used by all kinds of people, both good and bad, but probably more criminally. Now anyone can chat with their secret contacts on the dark web through an email, web chat, etc. and even anyone can share the destructive message, and no one will know.

Deep web and the Dark web inside it just run in the Tor and are used by most professional hackers. If we access these secure dark websites through Tor, there is a greater chance of someone hacking your device. There are illegal activities on the dark web but there are also some constructive secrets such as keeping a world-class technology or scientific research blueprint safe from the wrong people, but all this is done by technical professionals and not a normal human being.

My opinion is to stay away from the dark web because if you don’t know what you are doing over there, it can put a lot of unknown troubles on your life. Even if someone downloads a Tor, they still won’t be able to know about where to go. Tor websites aren’t like YouTube, Google search, just typed in and arrived. You have to first find out the names of websites that are quite difficult and confidential and there will be links to many hidden things that will be active onion websites but you will not know and they will redirect you to the illegal websites. The Simple thing is that the dark web should be avoided.

Sana Qazi is a Technical Writer specialized in Information Security. She is a writer by day and a reader by night.