The “dark web” is a small portion of the colossal area of the web known as the ‘deep web‘. There are many stories of crazy illegal acts such as hiring assassins and buying straight-from-Colombia cocaine.
The truth of the matter is, it’s really not all that exciting. Mostly it’s a bunch of random sites that aren’t indexed by the surface web. Granted, you can find a ton of sites offering drugs, porn, and other nefarious items.
One highlight of the dark web, however, is access to what most people can’t see or understand. That includes open security cameras, tricks on staying anonymous, computer security (hacking) forums, and places to leak documents.
Most of the “dark web” is still going to be under serious lock-down. Sites like government or intelligence agencies’ servers aren’t going to be found without either 1) insider information or 2) high level of computer knowledge.
Regardless, it is still an interesting experience, and you’ll see a lot of stuff (and services) you would never expect to see on the surface web. Like an open drug market with reviews of heroin, for example.
One cool site I stumbled upon was a site dedicated to resisting the Chinese communist government. Apparently, a lot of Chinese activists use the dark web to securely communicate and bypass the Chinese government filters. Whether this was a Chinese intelligence agency collecting information or actually an activist group, I’ll never know.
So, if your curiosity gets the better of you, here’s a quick rundown of how you can get on the dark web securely. Naturally, don’t be stupid, do anything illegal, or send thousands of dollars to an assassin because more than likely, it’s just a scam. Common sense is a trait worth investing time into.
But if you need to circumvent government overreach, leak important documents revealing corruption, or just want to learn, then follow the steps below.
Information – Dark Web Intro
Connecting to The Dark Web
I’m going to talk about strict guidelines. You may not need to follow all of these. But if you’re looking to really clamp-down on internet privacy, do the following:
- Get a cheap non-Intel laptop/netbook from a place that doesn’t track sales. Think: Garage sale or some other second hand purchase. Preferably one that does not have an operating system.
- Turn off Wi-Fi, make sure nothing else is on. Wipe the product.
- Get at least two (prefer 3) high-GB USB sticks. Also buy a microSD card with an adapter.
- Install a secure OS on a thumb-drive. Consider Anonymous-OS or Tails (I recommend Tails).
- ONLY BOOT FROM USB.
- Once booted, make sure Wi-Fi is still off and spoof MAC address.
- Only use public Wi-Fi. Go to a place that they can’t see you (no cameras). Somewhere like a library or a Starbucks. Sit outside if you have to.
- Connect to public Wi-Fi.
- If you followed my recommendation (Tails), Tor is automatically on. Don’t resize your browser. Never login to any applications (Facebook, Bittorent, etc). Don’t enter any passwords or other identifying parameters while surfing.
- You connect through Tor, and can search the Dark Web. If you don’t know any addresses, start with ‘The Hidden Wiki‘. Its web address changes frequently, so I won’t list it. Just search for it and jot it down.
- If you’re going to save files such as torrents, do it on your other USB, never onto the OS.
- After you’re done, turn off Wi-Fi, turn off the device, unplug the USBs, and leave.
That’s it. You’re set and ready.
Don’t do anything illegal. I’m teaching you this to circumvent government surveillance and for privacy rights, not so you can be a degenerate.
On top of the steps above, keep the below in mind for extra security:
- This is common sense, but make sure to block location, block cookies, stick to HTTPS and require plugin approval.
- Consider getting a VPN. If doing so, use e-currency that can’t be tracked back to you. (So don’t buy some random Fedcoin)
- Tor users CAN BE TRACKED, usually through tracking where the user is connecting. Example: You live in a remote area. There is a government record of you downloading Tor. You use Tor to send classified info using excellent security, however you’re the only Tor user in 50 miles. It’s pretty easy to use common deductive reasoning to figure out it was you. It won’t be conviction-worthy, but it can get the bulls-eye on you. You can avoid this by using Tor only in high-density population areas, like in a major city. There will be many Tor users there, so this method won’t work.
- Don’t open any files. At all. If you have to, for some reason, then open them in a virtual machine.
- Use a good search engine. Brave instead of Google.
- Should you need an email, use junk email. My recommendation is Mailinator.
- NEVER USE CREDIT CARDS
- Don’t use it often. Check the dark web only when necessary.
If you follow these steps and browse smartly, then you’ll be nearly invincible unless you’re some high-profile criminal that the government is willing to invest a ton of money into tracking constantly.
If you need any help or clarification of the above, leave me a comment below. Also, if you think I left something out, please feel free to put it in the comments and I’ll consider adding it.