5 Myths About Deep and Dark Web


The deep web and dark web are often misunderstood topics and are usually thought of as the same thing. Contrary to popular belief, the truth is that they differ from each other.

The deep web refers to any part of the internet not indexed by search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This refers to websites and pages that require authentication or login information. It also refers to content that is not accessible through the standard search engines, content such as academic libraries, scientific databases, and password-protected forums.

The dark web is a subset of the deep web, and one needs to have special software to access it. It is a part of the internet that is intentionally hidden and frequently associated with illegal activities. To access the dark web, a person must use anonymizing software like The Onion Router (TOR) to encrypt and route the internet traffic through different servers, to hide or mask the user’s identity and location. ExpressVPN’s study shows some of the most commonly sold information on the dark web, confirming the illegality of that part of the internet.

Due to their secretive nature, it is only normal for myths to be created around the whole idea of the deep and dark web. Below we are going to debunk the most common myths.

1. The deep web and the dark internet are the same things

As explained above, the difference between the two is that the deep web includes legitimate sites, only not indexed by search engines. In contrast, the dark web is mainly used for illegal or criminal activities such as drug trafficking, child pornography, or weapon sales due to inadequate regulation.

2. The deep and the dark web are used for illegal activities only

While we explained that the deep web is not a place for criminal output, it is commonly mistaken that, together with the dark web, it holds a place for many criminals. The dark web is linked to illicit goods and services, but that is untrue. There are many reports of internet-based crimes being done on the dark web. However, the majority of cybercrime is happening on the open web or the deep web as well. Many crimes have been reported on open web platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Discord, Telegram, Reddit, etc.

3. The internet is primarily composed of dark websites

A large number of people think that dark websites make up the majority of the internet. This rumor is entirely false, as dark websites only make up a fraction of the internet. Most internet comprises the surface or open web, indexed by search engines and accessible through standard web browsers. Social media platforms, eCommerce, and news outlets are the most commonly used websites on the open web. The surface web represents the bulk of online activity, and most online users never access the dark web, which brings us to our next myth.

4. It is illegal to access the dark web

It is important to note that if one simply visits the dark web, one is not inherently doing something illegal, assuming one is not on any watch lists. Although a person can browse the dark web, there is a risk that they still might get monitored because there is no public information on what the FBI tracks sites.

5. The deep and dark web’s main purpose is to help criminals

It is often assumed that the dark web is only suited for criminal activity, but that is not the case. The dark web, often thought of in fear, is a powerful tool to use for publishing content and news that is not permissible by the government. For instance, journalists may use the dark web to post content that is illegal in the current country they are assigned to. Infamous platforms like WikiLeaks, Facebook, and the New York Times host a TOR hidden server.

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