Curious about the Dark Net? 5 Quick Things You Must Know
The Dark Net is a small portion of the Deep Web that has, for some reason been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard web browsers. Usually when one hears of what the dark net has to offer — especially for the first time — one’s heart usually begins to beat faster and our curiosity begins to eat one up.
As the dark web wild fire continues to exponentially grow, more and more people are beginning to increasingly find themselves in a position where they would have to explore the famed underbelly of the internet. Very much like a very unfamiliar dark alley crawling all manner of vipers and things unimaginable, here are a few precautions anyone who wants to go down there must heed irrespective of whether research, fun, journalism and responsibility takes him down that road that once led to silk road.
1. Don’t try this at home
Do not. I repeat, do not, under whatsoever circumstance browse the dark net from your house, personal computer, cellphone or tablet PC. If you are unable to go to a cyber-café or get some real good IP masking, don’t bother going down there.
If you still haven’t got the memo, try this anonymously shared testimonial for a start:
My personal experience with the dark web is very private… I’ve been browsing the deep web before…
I … got curious…
… I came across a chat room, fully anonymous. I simply thought, “Let’s try it out, maybe I could talk to someone”. As soon as I typed ‘hello.’ the chat site copied all my pictures onto the message so anyone could have them. Rest assured, I had no pictures of me on there, but it made my head go hot and my heart beat really fast. I closed the browser and deleted Tor, but even then, I’m not safe.
My Skype and Steam usernames were found out, as I investigated what got copied. I’ve been getting strange messages from new accounts on Steam and threats on Skype…
…I confronted them and said that they don’t know who I am, but I will call the cops on them if they hadn’t stopped harassing me. They responded with my full name, address, and a picture of my apartment. I am shaking with fear, and my heart is racing. I wish I knew…
…I’ve waved a magnet over my hard drive and changed my IP. The messages took a toll on my mental stability. They sent so much horrifying images and videos that I still have nightmares. I’m praying to God that they do not have my number, or my mother’s address… I don’t know if I can do this anymore…
2. Take a lot of liver with you, you sure are going to need it
If you must visit a chat room where real people are going to gather to watch someone physically abuse another person in real time while others jeer, you’ll surely need to take a whole lot of liver with you. I wonder how long it will take one to recover after sauntering unto a webpage owned by a certain psycho who kidnaps, drugs and skins real humans alive, all of which is recorded for the viewing pleasure of the website visitors. ‘Nuff said.
3. Bait! Bait!! Bait!!!
Don’t get it twisted. Many of the sites hosted down there are simply decoys. Watch what you click, you might be unwittingly inviting a visit from Interpol and if you are still nursing the hopes of leaving the borders of this country someday, you may want to watch what you browse there. Law enforcement officers have created many fake sites to catch visitors in the dark web. Here is how someone aptly put it:
You never know which “dark” sites are real, unless you get involved with them — and by then, it’s too late. If you encounter child porn, click out of there. Gun sales? Get out — now. Terrorist information? Close your browser. You wind up on a site that tells you how to commit murder? Clear your browser cache. If you have one or two such nasty URLs in your history, probably nothing will happen, but if you make a habit of visiting such sites, your browser will record it, and the site’s server logs will “finger” you. If it’s a decoy, you can expect men in black suits at your door.
Perhaps you are not aware that watching child pornography is enough to get one into jail. If you get arrested and found to have evidence that you’ve viewed child porn, telling the cops that you were just curious or doing research for a freelance article won’t help.
4. Download? NEVER
If you are yet aware that he who dines with the devil uses a long spoon, then attempt to download stuff on the Dark net. Here is how Omotosho Kayode put it: ‘Whatever it may be. A picture, software, ebook, anything you download down there has a high chance of being infected. I can guarantee you that your chances of downloading a Trojan in the deep web is 8/10. They [trojans] provide an entry point for their author to transfer files in/out of your system. Your chances of joining a Botnet is very high in this case. Once you join a botnet, your physical location becomes traceable to both the attacker and the FBI’. Now imagine the risk you would have put yourself into when someone begins to use you identity to perpetrate cyber terrorism and you aren’t even aware of it.
Suicidal, Depression prone? Don’t bother
One of the most horrible things anyone can encounter in the dark web are thousands and thousands of websites that encourage people to commit suicide. They would offer you guidelines on how to end it — easier and quicker ways and tell you how much of a better world we would have when you are gone. These are done with pictures and videos, and there are chat rooms where you can be encouraged to commit the suicide while on a video chat so others will experience and enjoy it.
If you can stay away from the dark net, keep as far away as you can, since I don’t know what good it would do to fumble around such a largely unsafe online environment till you find the video of a toddler, who after hours of sexual abuse and turture gets killed right while being camera-ed while you are unwittingly exposing loads of very personal information to some of the worst hackers our generation has known, just for a chance to watch a video.