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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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    Published on September 20, 2018

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

    In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

    Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

    In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

    Minimizing Tabs

    Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

    Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

    Incognito Mode

    Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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    1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
    2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
    3. Download extension New Incognito Window

    This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

    Save Webpages as PDF Files

    Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

    Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

    Open Recently-closed Tabs

    Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

    One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

    The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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    Solve Mathematical Problems

    Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

    For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

    Play Media Files

    Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

    In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

    Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

    With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

    Stay Focus(e)d

    Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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    Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

    With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

    This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

    Grammarly for Editing

    Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

    You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

    Loom

    There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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    There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

    With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

    Chrome Calendar Extension

    No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

    Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

    Final Thoughts

    Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

    Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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