It lurks on the Internet; generally hidden from you and me.
Most internet users believe social media sites, search engines, and other sites similar are what the Internet is. However, there is another internet… and when a person stumbles upon it, they probably feel like the protagonist Will felt in Stranger Things when he entered The Upside Down.
In the Dark Web – The Abyss of the Internet – criminals lurk everywhere – protected by the power of anonymity and a shroud of mystery. There’s only one way to enter the Dark Web; it’s through The Onion Router. Also known as Tor, The Onion Router is the portal into the Dark Web where anonymous creatures, assorted weirdos and online criminals congregate.
Why can’t people find the Dark Web on Google? The Dark Web is encrypted through the Tor network; it does not want to be found by search engines.
The Dark Web is responsible for hacks such as the Equifax, Uber and the recent Target breaches. The Dark Web is where people can purchase social security numbers, passports, hacked Netflix accounts, illegal weapons – virtually, ANYthing.
According to, Shining Light on the Dark Web, this “Black Market of the Internet” is responsible for an annual economic loss of $445 billion; it is expected to grow to one trillion dollars in 2019 (Hurlburt, 2017). Governments around the world want to get their grubby hands on those lost revenues, and they are zeroing in on these dark creatures.
Good Luck, though…The Dark Web can’t be taken down, but it can be disrupted. Vigilante groups, such as the hacking group Anonymous, and the FBI have taken some sites offline such as Avalanche, the Silk Road and their most recent take down of AlphaBay – which was the government’s largest, anti-Dark Web operation to date.
The average Internet user can protect them self from the Dark Web by downloading Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and making sure their computer is free from malware and other harmful computer viruses.
As the Abyss of the Internet, The Dark Web is a dangerous place. For some Internet surfers, The Dark Web may just be a place to satisfy curiosity or escape their government censored internet, but it’s a place people should NOT take lightly. If you’re thinking about going there, be aware it could very well be the last thing you download.
This May, Rosie O’Shea will graduate as a COMM Major with areas of emphases in Mass Media, Public Relations, Journalism and Health Communication. She is Production Editor of the COMM VOICE and Vice President of PRSSA.
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