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What is the Dark Web?

Aside from cliched scenes from television shows and movies about nefarious activity that starts on the internet, countless business owners are still in the dark about what is happening on the dark web. In short, the dark web is part of the World Wide Web that is accessible only by means of special software, allowing users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable. The dark web isn’t visible to search engines, and it requires the use of an anonymous browser called Tor to access it. Many people associate the dark web with crime, and that certainly is a major component of it. Researchers at King’s College of London classified the contents of 2,723 live dark web sites over a five-week period a few years back and found that 58 percent hosted illicit material.

Accessing the dark web requires the use of Tor, a browser that routes your web page requests through a series of proxy servers operated by thousands of volunteers throughout the world, rendering your IP address unidentifiable and untraceable. Like the web you’re used to, there are search engines and e-commerce sites, but many do not last long. Search engines catering to the dark web often bring up results that have been abandoned or repeat hits, the byproduct of cybercriminals moving on after being caught or staying a step ahead of law enforcement. Retail sites often focus on the sale of contraband, and even the most popular sites like Dream Market use unintelligible addresses ending with “.onion” to avoid detection.

Commerce on the dark web often relies on bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that enables two parties to conduct business without know each other’s identity. As shifty as the dark web sounds, not everything on it is illegal. The Tor network began as an anonymous communications channel, and it still serves as a valuable purpose in helping people communicate in areas where free speech is frowned upon. There are also a variety of private and encrypted email services, instructions for installing an anonymous operating system and advanced tips for the privacy-conscious. Law enforcement agencies monitor the dark web looking for stolen data from recent security breaches that might lead to the perpetrators. And many mainstream media organizations monitor whistle blower sites looking for news.

2W Tech can help your business access the dark web and become familiar with its idiosyncrasies through Dark Web ID from ID Agent. This is the industry’s first commercial solution to detect your compromised credentials in real time. For example, 2W can detect compromised credentials used to exploit your employees and customers. We can provide you with a written report on your compromised emails. Extensive logging and reporting capabilities allows us to track and triage incidents and create effective policies and procedures to minimize risk in the future. Proactive monitoring of stolen and compromised data alerts us when a threat is detected so we can respond immediately, as well. Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be too overwhelming, expensive or complicated. The first step to protecting your business is understanding your risk. Contact 2W Tech today to find out how we can help defend yourself against the dark web.

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