What is the Dark Web and how to protect yourself from it?


The dark web, a hidden part of the deep web not indexed by standard search engines, arouses both fear and curiosity. Accessible through special software, it represents around 5% of the Internet’s total content, becoming a place of anonymity where suspicious or even illegal activities such as the sale of personal information, drugs and weapons take place.

Paradoxically, this darkness also provides a refuge for activists, journalists and whistleblowers seeking to communicate securely, highlighting the importance of privacy and anonymous online browsing.

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Browsing the dark web securely involves the use of specific browsers, such as Tor, and the adoption of robust security practices including the use of VPNs for an enhanced private browsing experience and the implementation of surveillance , as do Norton 360 Advanced or Avast Premium Security.

Understanding the dark web is not only relevant for individuals concerned about their online security, but also for organizations aspiring to protect their digital assets from hacking tools and other cyber threats.

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web, often confused with the Deep Web, represents a small fraction of the internet not indexed by standard search engines. This hidden network is only accessible through specific software, the best known being Tor, which hides the identity of its users, thus allowing anonymous browsing. Unlike the Deep Web, which includes internal databases and services not accessible to the public, the Dark Web is intentionally hidden and requires special tools to access it.

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Often stigmatized due to its associations with illicit activities (sales of stolen data, sales of illegal products, etc.), it also serves as a platform for free political discussions and forums for people living under oppressive regimes, providing a safe space to communicate away from government surveillance. This duality makes the Dark Web both a concern and a valuable tool for freedom of expression.

Strengthen the security of your data to avoid finding it on the Dark Web

© methodshop – Pixabay

Browsing the Dark Web is not without risks. Users may be exposed to malware, illegal activity, and increased surveillance by law enforcement. Dark Web sites use complex name structures and frequently change addresses to avoid attacks and maintain anonymity. Transactions there are generally carried out in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, to maintain the anonymity of the parties involved. Despite its dangers, the Dark Web remains a crucial tool for many people seeking to avoid censorship and protect their privacy online.

Why does the Dark Web represent a threat?

Although the dark web is not inherently dangerous, it becomes a breeding ground for illegal activities due to the anonymity it offers. This hidden part of the internet facilitates the sale of stolen personal information, falsified documents, and other even more dangerous products.

Compromised accounts, as well as personal data, can bring in a lot of money for hackers, who see it as an easy source of income (as long as they don’t get arrested). These transactions often take place via cryptocurrencies, making the exchanges almost impossible for authorities to trace.

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Finally, the dark web is a significant source of malware and ransomware, with cybercriminals often selling or distributing this harmful software via the dark web. Compromised company data frequently ends up on dark web marketplaces, where it can be bought and sold by cybercriminals, putting businesses and their reputations at risk. Tracking these activities is made difficult by the anonymity that the dark web offers, contributing to data breaches by providing a market for stolen data.

Even without navigating directly to the Dark Web, the latter constitutes a significant threat, because your personal data can circulate there without your consent.

This is why it is recommended to protect your data with an effective security suite, developed by a recognized antivirus publisher. To do this, consult our comparison tool to find the security solution that suits you.

Then, it is advisable to regularly update your operating system, browser and software. These updates often contain essential security fixes that protect against new vulnerabilities that can be exploited by cybercriminals. Also use strong, unique passwords for each account and consider using a password manager to increase the security of your various online accounts.

Finally, be careful with personal information shared online and regularly review the privacy settings on your devices and apps. For businesses, it is crucial to take proactive measures such as implementing appropriate security solutions to protect against dark web threats.

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What is Dark Web Monitoring in a security suite?

Some security suites like Norton 360 Advanced include a Dark Web Monitoring feature that monitors the Dark Web and alerts you if your personal data is circulating there. This service scans websites and forums on the Dark Web and searches for exchanged or sold information such as your email address, phone number, credit card numbers, insurance, etc. And if any of this data is identified, you are automatically alerted.

Norton 360 Advanced

Norton 360 Advanced

Norton 360 Advanced is a comprehensive security suite to protect your devices and personal information from different types of online threats.

  • Downloads:
    13
  • Release date :
    04/17/2024
  • Author :
    NortonLifeLock
  • Licence :
    Commercial license
  • Categories:

    Internet – Security

  • Operating system :

    Android, Windows, iOS iPhone / iPad, macOS

It is then recommended to change the passwords of your online accounts, alert your banking services and follow the advice of cybersecurity experts to avoid identity theft and data theft.

Norton 360 Advanced Dark Web Monitoring feature

Norton 360 Advanced Dark Web Monitoring feature

© Symantec

Other antiviruses can also alert you of any personal data leaks, such as Avast Premium Security which alerts you in the event of leaked credentials or hacked passwords associated with your email account. If your email account is hacked, all of your online accounts are potentially at risk, since hackers can then request to change passwords using the common “forgotten password” system.

Avast Premium Security

Avast Premium Security

Avast Premium Security is comprehensive and effective antivirus software to protect your computer, but also your mobile device, against online threats. Flexible options are provided to meet the needs of various users.

  • Downloads:
    89
  • Release date :
    04/09/2024
  • Author :
    Avast
  • Licence :
    Demonstration
  • Categories:

    Security

  • Operating system :

    Android, Windows, iOS iPhone / iPad, macOS

Avast Premium Security Hack Detection

Avast Premium Security Hack Detection

© Avast

The implications of the existence of the dark web are vast, both for individuals and organizations. Robust security practices and awareness are essential to safely navigating these murky digital waters.

It is essential to continue to educate users about the risks as well as ways to protect against the pervasive cyber threats of the dark web, while exploring new strategies to secure our personal and professional information in this complex and ever-changing environment.

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