Visiting the dark web is not illegal, but lots of activities and things outside the bounds of common decency can be found on this side of the internet.
For some users, the dark web provides the opportunity to circumvent local restrictions and autocratic government regimes. But then, there are those who use the anonymity of the dark web to conduct criminal activities. Unfortunately, there is a lot of that on the dark web.
In this article, you will discover three reasons why you should only access the dark web if you have to.
1. You May Catch Malware
The threats of someone hacking into your computer to steal information is much more rampant on the dark web.
Unlike on the surface web, where your browser warns you when you are visiting an unsafe site, the dark web does not provide such tools. When you visit an onion website on the dark web, you need to understand the potential consequences.
Simple things like downloading a file, playing a song or watching a video can lead to malware infecting your computer. You cannot browse the darknet without worrying about someone accessing your computer illegally even when you have antivirus and anti-malware protection.
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If you can access the information you are searching for on the surface web, it is better to get it there. Especially, if you are not a sophisticated tech user.
2. You May Get Scammed
It should not surprise you that there are lots of scams on the dark web. Just like there are scammers on the surface web, it is a lot worse on the dark web. On this side of the web, most people are anonymous and can easily use ads, forums, and other techniques to take people’s money.
These scams come in several forms, which could include:
- Selling fake products
Research has shown that some of the products sold – both legal and illegal products – are often fake. The vendor receives the money but delivers substandard products to the buyer, knowing that they would be untraceable.
- Investment scams
Dark web investment scams promise unbelievable returns to get people to hand over their money. Why anyone would believe a stranger on the dark web is a mystery but apparently, people do fall for them.
- Charity fraud
They play on people’s emotions and convince them to hand over donations to support fake causes or give relief to victims of a disaster.
- Work-at-home job scams
Some scammers use ads to lure people into realistic-sounding work-at-home opportunities. Then they request that you pay some money upfront for some educational materials. This is also a common scam found on the surface web.
3. You May Stumble Upon Illegal Content
Be careful what you click on! What you see, cannot later be unseen.
Illegal content is one of the most common things found on the dark web. There is a lot of obscene, illegal, and immoral content available on the underbelly of the internet.
Perhaps most prominently, the dark web is cluttered with illegal pornography. Whatever inhuman sexual act you can think of, you will likely find it on the dark web. According to a report by Wired Magazine, research conducted by the University of Portsmouth found that child abuse-related sites are about two percent of Tor hidden service websites but often get the most traffic.
The dark web also plays a huge role in online piracy. Some illegal onion sites provide pirated music or leaked movies that are not even yet in theatres. Purchasing and downloading pirated movies and music on the dark web is not only illegal it is also very risky as your computer can easily be infected with malware through these type of downloads.
You can visit the dark web if you really need to, but know that there are risks.