Browsing the dark web can be an exciting experience but it can end up having more troubles while browsing the dark web can be an exciting, new experience, not doing it properly can land you in some big trouble.
To avoid these problems, here are 9 things to NEVER do while browsing the dark web. Follow these and stay safe!
1. Opening “.onion” websites on a browser other than TOR (The Onion Router).
Websites like “Tor2Web” and “Onion2web” allow users to easily access .onion sites on browsers like Google Chrome.
As easy as this may be, this will guarantee that your IP address is exposed – and when this happens, you’re open to all sorts of attacks from hackers.
To avoid this, it’s essential to use the TOR browser when surfing the dark web – it’s a tried-and-true software, and it’s the industry leader for a reason.
2. Using TOR without a VPN.
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is essential since TOR has been cracked quite a few times in the recent past; a VPN is arguably as important as the TOR browser, in fact.
Earlier, having a VPN was merely an extra layer of protection, but it has since become a necessity as government agencies as well as third-party Black Hat and White Hat hackers are finding new ways to break the TOR encryption system and reveal users’ true IP addresses.
Using a good VPN can really be life saver while surfing the web.
A good VPN doesn’t have to cost anything, but the paid ones usually have added benefits such as faster premium servers, anti–tracking software, and ad-blockers.
A VPN I personally use is called “Cyberghost”, I personally have bought a subscription and it comes with benefits like the ability to choose your location and have access to faster servers, “Cyberghost” is also an incredible free VPN and the paid version is only better in terms of some added benefits, functionality remains the same in both the paid and free versions of the software.
3. Enabling Macros and Scripts.
For example, visiting Youtube on TOR will require you to enable scripts for the website in order for it to play videos; in this case, enabling it will be safe as you’ve probably already used Youtube in the past and it’s a trusted site now owned and run by Google.
On the other hand, if you’re exploring this part of the web, enabling scripts on .onion sites can be very dangerous since they can run scripts without your knowledge and automatically download anything from adware to a Trojan horse or other malware.
These can then be used to do things ranging from constantly displaying annoying pop-ups or even controlling your computer remotely as a part of a bot network.
By default, TOR comes with an extension that disables all Macros and Scripts.
4. Downloading Files off untrusted or unknown sites.
Now, this may seem like an obvious one, but a lot of people are either tricked into downloading files or have files automatically downloaded onto their computer.
Whatever the site seemingly offers, try not to download any files from a site unless you completely trust the site.
If you do have to download a file, then there is a relatively safe way.
Using a virtual machine like Virtual Box in sandbox mode will make it safe as it isolates the OS on the Virtual Machine from the OS on your PC or Mac.
This will keep you as safe as you can possibly get in the event that you need to download files while browsing the dark web.
5. Mixing up the “Dark Web” with the “Deep Web”.
Now this one may seem weird for some people because several people and online sources assume that the dark web and deep web are the same things.
To those people; you are sadly mistaken.
While the dark web is a PART of the deep web, it has only about 7000 sites at the time of writing this article.
7000 isn’t a lot for government agencies to cover.
To put it into perspective, that’s about 5 people who are employed by the FBI for every single Dark web site.
So thinking it’s no sweat and just jumping onto the dark web without protection and caution, may not be the best idea ever.
The deep web, on the other hand, is comprised of over 90% of the total sites available on the internet as a whole.
6. Thinking it’s Inherently “Legal”.
For those people who think that it’s perfectly legal for a person to use and browse the dark web, I’m afraid you may be mistaken.
Using sites on the deep web is perfectly fine, however.
A reason a site is on the “dark” web is likely because it has something to do with something illegal – drugs, weapons, hackers and hitmen all provide their services on the dark web.
So if you’re viewing a site on the dark web for any reason from actually desiring to acquire those products or services to just wanting to quench your thirst for knowledge on the subject, know that you may be held liable for what you come across.
7. Buying any type of “Service” or “Item” from a darknet market.
Buying things from darknet markets can land you in some deep trouble if you get caught, and it is increasingly more likely that it will happen.
Lot of the users on this darknet e-commerce platforms are law enforcement officers from different countries, fraudsters going through with scams, and you may never even hear from the seller if they don’t have a stellar track record.
Furthermore, nearly all dark web transactions use Bitcoin, so it’s completely untraceable and a refund is usually out of the question.
8. Buying things with a Credit/Debit card.
Buying things with your credit or debit card is a huge mistake.
None of the payment methods (except for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) are secure or safe – not to mention that if you’re buying something from the darknet, you probably don’t want the transaction being linked back to you.
If you’re going to buy anything, you should only use a cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is the most preferred and popular at the moment, as it’s the most secure and stable in terms of exchange value and availability.
9. Making the wrong friends and wrong enemies.
The dark web is filled with a variety of users.
Some are just regular people that you might be able to afford to mess with.
But, mess with an evil hacker and the individual can potentially ruin your life.
Just keeping to yourself is best whenever possible.
What’s worse than making enemies here? Making friends, fake friends in particular.
Unless you’re well-known in this underground community like ‘Dread Pirate Roberts’, there’s usually only one type of person wanting to make your acquaintance–people who are trying to prove you’re doing something wrong. In layman’s terms, law enforcement.
As previously used as an example, there are about 5 FBI employees for every site on the dark web if strictly comparing numbers.
With this in mind, trusting someone blindly on ANY website on the dark web is an extremely risky move.
Hopefully, these 9 tips can help you stay safe and stay anonymous!
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