We want to thank Mojo.com for most of the information in this article. They did such a good job of explaining the Dark Web in their YouTube video, we thought there was no reason for us to redefine it.
What is in the Dark Web?
Ever since the Internet became a way of life, rumors of illegal activities taking place there have been circulating. All those rumors were realized on the Dark Web.
The Dark Web is a collection of thousands of web sites invisible to popular search engines such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and others, because Websites on The Dark Web are encrypted to hide them from view.
These websites are entitled to their privacy so, it’s impossible to know how many are operating on the Dark Web.
The Dark Web is not illegal in and of itself. It’s also used for illegal activity which most people find very disconcerting.
Hiding a website from browsers is not a crime.
Many people use the Dark Web to remain anonymous and they have good reason for doing so. They don’t want to hand over their personal details to governments, advertisers, corporations and social media platforms.
With increasing concerns about tech giants like Google and Facebook and what they are doing with the personal data they control, more and more people are using the Dark Web to keep themselves safe than for illicit purposes.
But there is plenty of criminal activity on the Dark Web as well.
One recent study showed that out of 2,750 Dark Web websites, 57% of them were used for illegal purposes. At the top of the list was the buying and selling of minors and narcotics.
One of the most infamous web sites on the Dark Web was known as the Silk Road. It has been shut down, but in its original form the Silk Road was used to sell drugs.
Specific task forces and cyber-crime units have been setup in numerous countries specifically to track down this illegal activity. One of these units is known at the JOC (Joint Operations Cell) in the United Kingdom.
Further complicating successful investigation into illegal activity on the Dark Web is the reliance on Bitcoin. This currency is traded anonymously, and transactions cannot be traced back to the original buyer.
The TOR browser.
The Dark Web is accessed primarily by the TOR browser. You haven’t heard of this? You’re not alone. This browser gives its users access to all of these hidden sites. It encrypts the IP Address of the TOR user and bounces it around the internet before granting them access to a Dark Web website.
TOR stands for The Onion Router. The name is descriptive in that it acts like the layers of an onion which make it very difficult for anyone to trace TOR users, whether they’re criminals or not. Some of the criminal activity is the sale of stolen data, also known as a data breach.
There are 327 million breaches on the internet!
Breaches which include names, mailing address, emails, phone numbers, passport numbers and credit card numbers and…you get the idea.
The list and types of breaches are too numerous to list here.
The owners of businesses are the people we are trying to reach in this article.
Why? Most business owners are simply not aware of the danger that their business face in terms of being breached by hackers.
Hackers will breach a business and steal company data and then they sell the data – perhaps your data - on the Dark Web. We can show you how this is accomplished in your own office.
You can get anything you want on the Dark Web.
You can buy bank accounts, social media accounts, credit cards, counterfeit currency and the data from your company on the Dark Web. All this and much more!
Again, we find that most small business owners are not aware of this, or if they are aware of this activity, they are not concerned about it because they think (incorrectly) that their business is too small to be attacked.
So, even if you don’t personally use the Dark Web, you are still in danger of the criminal activities that take place there.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that this does not affect you and your business. The Dark Web and its criminal under belly are a danger to all of us.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
The Dark Web can be used for positive activity as well. The positive side is not reported very much.
The Dark Web helps ordinary people living in countries where censorship is common.
These users let people on the outside know what is happening inside their country. Think the citizens of Hong Kong versus the Chinese Communist Party. Think the Mullahs of Iran versus the Iranian people. The list goes on and on.
The Dark Web is also important for journalists visiting foreign countries and whistle blowers notifying the world of criminal activities in their own governments. Freedom of speech is an important part of the Dark Web and this is very beneficial to freedom loving people all over the world.
The Dark Web is good and bad. It all depends on your point of view. It all depends upon who’s using it, and how. The Dark Web is simply another tool.
The Dark Web and your business.
Again, as an IT Services provider to small businesses, we are concerned about the business owners and employees of companies that are not protecting their most valuable asset. That asset is your company data.
DTS Can Help
DTS is very good at protecting your business. Seriously, we are, and we can prove it. We like being heroes! Let us show you how.
We also know how intimidating technology can be, we make a living helping business owners and managers just like you who have questions about all thing’s technology, and that includes data backup and disaster recovery.
Most small businesses do not have the technical resources or time to understand all this geek stuff. If this describes you, let us help you.
If you would like more information about the Dark Web and protecting your business give us a call, we’re always happy to chat, and the call is FREE, every time you call!
Dedicated to your success,
Business Development Manager
dts|infotech . . . secure computer networks that work