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Privacy and Internet Safety

What Are the Deep Web and the Dark Web?

Since the Internet has become the go-to source for entertainment, socializing, news, information, and more, we rarely think about how it actually works. But the essential sites you visit every day or find through search engines such as Google and Yahoo are actually only a fraction of the total Web. Beyond the commonly available sites lies the Deep Web and, beyond that, the Dark Web.

The Deep Web includes perfectly benign content, including your bank account activity, Amazon address list, and even items in your social networks that you've set to "private."

But the Deep Web also includes other types of content search engines can't find -- and the idea of a "secret world" is catnip to some kids. To get in, you need a special browser (usually Tor) that allows you to travel down the Deep Web's rabbit hole anonymously. Why anonymously? Well, for various reasons, people on the Deep Web want to keep their activities out of the mainstream. Some simply don't want their data collected by the Googles of the world. Some use it to find content of dubious origin, such as bootlegged movies. And some are criminals on what is known as the Dark Web, using a combination of Tor, complex computer programming, and other sophisticated strategies to create, share, and do business illegally.

Though the Deep Web has all the makings of a thriller plot device (in fact, a House of Cards subplot involves an ultra paranoid Deep Web computer programmer), no one knows how big it is and how much of a threat it poses to regular people. In 2013, an Australian teen died after taking drugs purchased on a Dark Web drug-trafficking site called Silk Road. But there are legitimate uses too, such avoiding the eyes of totalitarian governments, investigative journalism, and sleuthing by FBI agents.

If your kid downloads Tor or knows other kids who are on it, it's important to talk about the implications. The Deep Web isn't a safe place to hang out. Here are some things to discuss:

Getting in. The Internet is full of codes, hacks, and ideas for penetrating the Web's underbelly -- and lots of kids are curious about it. Keep the lines of communication open. Discuss Internet ethics, digital citizenship, and the difference between a "free Web" and illegal activity.

Recognizing warning signs. People with bad motives are good at winning your trust. Teach your kid how to spot sketchy behavior -- no matter where they are -- including "grooming," asking for money, and doing anything illegal.

The Deep Web isn't for spectators. Deep Web users are experts at covering their tracks -- probably because they have reason to remain anonymous. Since illegal activity happens, even "just visiting" is risky.

Never accepting anything purchased on the Deep Web. Run, don't walk, away.

Considering coding classes. If your kids are into computer programming, encourage them to learn more about it so they can use their powers for good.

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Adult written by SajaLutor

Thank you for the article. I recently began to be interested in this topic. But the topic of non-indexable Internet seems to me very interesting. In fact, it surprised me how large and diverse this network is, it seems that it is much larger than the commonly used part of the Internet. I wonder if it is possible to use the darknet for personal purposes without breaking the law?
Teen, 14 years old written by Moonlight_the_k...

my mom thinks that me being girly online or me thinking about something I'd like to do and doing it without harming anyone is dark web XD
Teen, 17 years old written by Ryu_Hayabusa

Some of it is joking but the other half... disturbing now i am not joking about ANY OF THIS this is actual experience ive had now some deep web videos are VERY Gore-ish and basically hell very dark themes and games that are 18+ such as a game called ¨Sad satan¨ if you are really in the deep web to the point where you can find anything i promise you, you will find things such as Drug dealers child porn strong gore dark theme such as suicide hitmen that you can hire on yourself and more. honestly you can go from an innocent search to this hell hole known as the deep web some footage (again) can be found on youtube and honestly if you are 1 of those people with a ¨sensitive¨ stomach i HIGHLY reccommend not even researching for educational purposes i dont really want to go into detail but a lot of messed up crap lies there :/ but be warned some of those things are fake stories used to troll mess with or entertain other people
Teen, 17 years old written by Kurtstir

I have been on the Deep Web hundreds of times almost everything you here are false horror stories. Now im going to make a few points. 1. The Deep web is not a different part of the internet. The Deep web is a completely seperate internet from the world wide web. The World Wide Web is a quite small mesh network unlike the deep web which is the largest known mesh network. Other Mesh Networks include, hyperboria, lain net, and freenet. 2. The Deep Web and the Dark web are both on the same mesh network only the dark web has Child Pornography, Drugs, and Other Illegal items. While the rest of the deep web mesh network hosts personal sites, hacking, and other much safer websites. 3. A few examples of decent sites are zw3crggtadila2g.onion and xfmro77i3lixucja.onion 4. Finally redrooms do not exsist, because of tor node streaming speeds livestreaming anything other than music is impossible. And snuff films with muder, rape, etc. are completely available on the World Wide Web mesh network.
Teen, 16 years old written by 9072s

The Deep/ Dark web is a horrible place. There is drugs there is hacking but its not always hacking there are links and then loopholes for people to go through and there are also groups such as the Monkey Clubhouse (i think that is what it is called. There is also disgusting stuff and violence such as stabbing and live shows of people being cut up with razor blades. Stay the hell away from it. I am good with computers/ hacking so that is how i knew about it but i did not go on it, i researched it. I was curious though but I did not so be careful and parents set Family safeguards on you computers. Do not go on the dark web or you will be scarred for life.
Adult written by ghost s.

No "the monkey clubhouse" is something from a creepypasta. If you were good with computers you'd know that streaming a murder over tor nodes is impossible, it takes about a minute to download a 50kb HTML document, so imagine streaming video over that. Now maybe if you ask around on IRC you might get a snuff film, but those are on the clear net. It shouldn't be so looked down upon to use the dark web, yea the dark web is mostly porn but there are still good uses for it(free speech, and the government doesn't breath down you're shoulder.
Adult written by LnTx Beatz

Deep web is slightly the same as the Dark web u can chat with people to watch red rooms, human experiments and other bad stuff but requires a download I have been on it a couple of times not to watch bad things just to see what it was about when I seen the things u could click on I then found it for research only waning when on the deep web and dark web be careful what u click on or u could be in the red room
Adult written by ghost s.

You obviously have no clue what your talking about. The deep web are unlisted sites. The dark web are illegal sites.
Teen, 13 years old written by TheGuardianPie

The Deep Web or "Dark Web" is a part of the internet that is not visible by using a regular browser like Chrome or Firefox. I believe it is accessed by using a browser called "Tor". The Deep Web is used for illegal activity such as: drug marketing, snuff films, child porn, gore, etc, since it is not seen by the FBI or police. Most of this side of the internet is safe, as long as you know safe links. I've gotten into some research on YouTube recently (that of which, to be honest, has scarred me) and it can be an extremely dangerous place. I will not go into details of what I've seen. So, if you see your child on the Deep Web, three words: Get them off.
Adult written by ghost s.

No, you will be fine on the deep web as long as you use tails, or whonix. Youtube isn't the best place to go to do research, but if you have watched SOG's deep web browsing videos, you know that it isn't that dangerous. Now if your kid is looking at gore-porn you might have some problems.
Teen, 16 years old written by Kk1289

The deep web is often alluring to people who like to take risks or are interested in the darker side of human nature. However, the deep web is not only gruesome and disturbing, it can be dangerous if not taken seriously. If you catch your teen on the deep web, more than half the time they will just be there out of curiosity. But there are times teens will order illegal substances off the deep web or watch child porn or snuff films. (Snuff films are pre-paid using bit-coins and consist of a real murder/torture/rape and is shown live to its audience.) Even this can be out of curiosity but if you catch your teen using the deep web, you need to explain the dangers as well as the moral issues of supporting the sinister side of the internet.
Adult written by ghost s.

Now if your kid orders drugs off the dark web that can end badly. They send the drugs to your house through the mail to your address, so if the package get's intercepted your screwed. There are no live broadcasts on the dark web, tor nodes can't stream data that fast, it takes a while to load a 50kb web page so streaming video would be impossible.