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In yesterday’s blog, I gave you some tips on how you can surf the Dark Web safely.  As promised, today’s piece will be about what not to do when you are on the Dark Web.  If you choose to surf the Dark Web, take these tips seriously, as they have been written by people whom have actually done.

Here we go:

*Never use a non-Tor Web Browser:

As mentioned yesterday, this is the only web browser that will work on the Dark Web, and also assure your safety and confidentiality as well.  In fact, it is the only way to even access the. onion sites.  What are these you may be asking?  It can be defined as follows:

.onion is a pseudo-top-level domain host suffix . . . designating an anonymous hidden service reachable via the Tor network. Such addresses are not actual DNS names, and the. onion TLD is not in the Internet DNS root, but with the appropriate proxy software installed, Internet programs such as Web browsers can access sites with. onion addresses by sending the request through the network of Tor servers. “(SOURCE:  https://www.quora.com/What-is-an-onion-site-and-why-are-they-used).

In other words, the extension. onion in a way, is very similar to that of the .com extension.  But the. onion sites cannot be accessed by ordinary browsers, you need a special software like Tor to access them.  The .onion websites is what protects as you surf the Dark Web.

*Never use Tor without a Virtual Private Network (VPN):

This is something that was addressed in yesterday’s blog. With a VPN, you are essentially protected by a second layer of communications which more or less keeps you “invisible” on the Dark Web.  Nowadays, it is extremely crucial to make use of a VPN because Penetration Testers and even officials at the Federal Government are constantly trying to break Tor encryption system and reveal users’ true IP addresses. A recommended VPN package for this instance is known as “Cyberghost” can be accessed at this link:

https://www.cyberghostvpn.com/en_US/

*Enabling scripts and macros on Tor:

It is important to keep in mind that many websites on the Dark Web require you to enable scripts or macros in order to view it.  But never do this, as any potent malware can be downloaded in just a matter of a blink of an eye.  Plus, this malware can also run dangerous scripts without you even knowing about it.  Tor, by default, comes with all scripts and macros disabled.  Do not change this functionality!!!

*Do not download files that you are suspicious of:

Just like when we are told when we are using the “normal web”, never download any file that you do not trust, especially on the Dark Web!!!  If you have to download a file, make use of a Virtual Machine such as Virtual Box in a “sandbox mode”.  In other words, whatever you choose to download from the Dark Web will be totally isolated from your other files in your PC.  On the other hand, as it was also described yesterday, you may want even just want to use a dedicated laptop just for surfing the Dark Web.

*Surfing the Dark Web is totally legal:

While it may be OK to poke around the Dark for a little while to see what is on it, but if you actually see or come across anything that is inherently illegal, you could hold legally responsible, and even be face repercussions from it.

*Buying goods and services from the Dark Web is the same as normal business transactions on the “Normal Web”:

Never, ever buy anything from the Dark Web!!! First of all, you never know what you will be getting if at all anything, and second, many law enforcement officials around the world are posing as undercover agents in order to nab people who purchase illegal material, products, or services from the Dark Web.

*Always use Cryptocurrency if you MUST purchase anything off the Dark Web:

What this means is that never, ever use your credit card to buy anything off the Dark Web!!!  This is very important for two reasons:  1) You could very well end up being a victim of Identity Theft or something even worse, and 2) Under no circumstances, do you want the transaction to be traced back to you. So, this means that you have to use something like Bitcoin in order to buy anything.  But this in it of itself can be a complex procedure, so if you do not even understand how Bitcoin exactly works, then simply don’t entertain any thoughts of even buying anything off the Dark Web.  In fact, most illegal merchants on the Dark Web only accept Bitcoin.

*Attempting to make friends on the Dark Web:

The best advice here is to just to keep to yourself, and get on and get off as quickly as possible on the Dark Web.  Do not attempt to friend anybody, even if they seem to be the nicest person in the world.  Remember, meeting somebody in the virtual world is not the same as meeting face to face.  You never know who is on the other side that is trying to communicate with you, it could be an undercover law enforcement officer to even the most notorious of Cyber attackers.

In tomorrow’s post, we examine some of the most popular websites that people have visited on the Dark Web.