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How to Safely Browse the Deep Web

How to Safely Browse the Deep Web

Think you’ve seen the Internet? Chances are, you haven’t even scratched the surface.

You see, the entire Internet has two relevant parts: the surface web and the deep web. The surface web encompasses everything you can see or find through search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. These are websites like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter that anyone can find using regular Internet browsers.

The deep web, on the other hand, includes everything else that search engines miss. Technically, newly created websites are considered as part of the deep web. The same goes for hidden pages that cannot be accessed through a link.

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Reports indicate that the dark web—a portion of the deep webis swarming with black marketplaces and other sites that engage in illegal activities.[1] This, in turn, has sparked the curiosity of Internet users all over.

Why should people care about the Deep Web?

According to studies, the surface web only accounts for 4% of the entire Internet,[2] which means the deep web is about 500 times bigger. That means you haven’t even seen a fraction of the Internet if you’ve only used regular browsers your whole life.

Call it curiosity, but many people are genuinely enticed about the idea of exploring the deep web. And although the deep web is often seen as the den of cyber criminals, there are actually a lot of interesting and useful things[3] hidden there.

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Relaying your connection through the deep web will also enable you to access blocked sites. For example, if you’re in a country that censors connections to Facebook, then accessing the “dark web” version of the site will make the site accessible.

A word of advice, browsing the deep web requires extreme caution. To do it safely, you also need to use a special set of tools that will help you access the deep web.

Using the Tor Browser

First thing’s first, you should never enter the deep web without using a secure browser like Tor. It helps protect your privacy and anonymity by relaying your connection through “nodes” from all over the world.

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    Image Credit via Tor

    Without a secure browser like Tor, you should just forget about browsing the deep web altogether. Tor further ensures your privacy by clearing your cache and cookies each time you close the browser. Additionally, deep web .onion sites cannot be accessed by browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

    Using a Deep Web Directory

    Once you’re in the deep web, you’re probably confused as to where to go. A good place to start is an onion directory like the Hidden Wiki.

    Deep web directories contain popular links that will bring you to useful sites. Other than deep web directory listings, do not click on any other link unless you’re absolutely sure where it goes.

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    Fortunately, deep web directories clearly describe the sites they link to. Although these probably won’t harm your computer, pay attention to their URLs since some of them engage in illegal activities – from selling fake IDs to hacking tools.

    Lastly, never download or buy anything from the deep web, especially digital goods. Remember that the Tor browser can’t protect you if the malware finds its way into your hard drive.

    Using Other Security Tools

    As long as you use Tor and avoid clicking any suspicious links, you should be able to browse the deep web safely. But if you want additional protection considering the cyber security[4] in mind, then you should consider using the following tools:

    • Virtual Private Network – To further protect your anonymity, you can use a VPN, which masks your IP address from prying eyes. This is a must if you’re looking to explore deep web markets such as Alphabay.
    • Tails – Tails is a live OS that can be booted straight from your desktop. It’s specifically designed to protect the user’s privacy and anonymity.
    • Pretty Good PrivacyPretty Good Privacy or PGP is an encryption service that is used for online communications.

    Conclusion

    The Internet is a massive place. While it’s a great learning experience for the tech-savvy, accessing the deepest recesses of the Internet comes with risks. If you’re thinking about starting your own deep web adventure, you should start by following the safety guidelines discussed above and research more so you have a solid understanding of it. Good luck and have fun!

    Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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