by editorial team
Most parents worry about their kids and spend countless hours preparing for worst-case scenarios. We try to buy the best car seats, bundle our kids up in snow gear at the first snowflake, and research the best schools for our children. The hint of rain, the slightest chill, or a forgotten lunch will propel us to care for our children.
Care and caution are part of being a great parent. While concern and anxiety are sometimes overdone, it is never misguided when it pertains to the Dark Web.
Some parents don’t know that the world wide web has a dark side, and it is as close as the electronic device in your living room.
The world wide web has three layers. The Association of Interest Research Specialists reports that the "surface" internet accounts for only four percent of the world wide web.
Below is a CNBC International video that explains the dark web further.
Parents mistakenly think that their children are not savvy enough to access the dark web and that it takes specialized knowledge and skills. Accessing the dark internet is simple to do, and most children with simple computer skills or expertise to download an app can do so in minutes.
To gain access, kids download an onion-routing application, which is readily available and free on the surface web. These apps “wrap” the user’s IP address in layers of encryption like an onion by using the idea of onion routing.
Onion routing was developed by the Naval Research to help government operatives communicate without being traced and became available to the public in 2004.
A quick internet search by a school-aged child with perfunctory internet skills can locate and download the free application in minutes to a digital device. The Onion Router, or TOR, should not be on your home or child’s computer for any reason, and neither should be the following.
Once a child or teen downloads the app, there are directories on the darknet to help them connect to find content. These particular directories are like search engines found on the surface web. Some favorite lists are Uncensored Hidden Wiki, Deep Web Links, and Hidden Wiki. Darknet routing programs can run off a USB flash drive instead of the actual computer, thereby leaving no browsing history.
The anonymity of the darknet allows all kinds of illegal activities to occur without fear of exposure. With their identities hidden, kids can interact in any type of site available on the darknet without fear of exposure or repercussion. While not all activities on the dark web are illegal, most of them are, and cyberbullies, predators, and criminals do business there regularly.
Shysters and hackers are untrackable, and so if your child is tricked or deceived by someone on the dark web, they cannot be traced. There are warnings on the dark webpages, warning that an individual has no recourse should a transaction go awry. In addition to being anonymous, these sites are entirely uncensored, and the following illegal activities are readily available.
Not only are kids exposed to drug dealing, but they also can purchase or sell drugs and other commodities online. The darknet looks like the surface web’s shopping sites with photos, product descriptions, and even feedback. Items purchased with untraceable digital currency, such as Bitcoin, are untraceable. In 2016, a Florida teen used the dark internet to call in multiple bomb threats.
Ignorance is not bliss when it pertains to the Dark Web.
Computers are integral to our daily lives, and they are in almost every home. The downside of the incredible convenience of technology is that there is a dark side, and that dark side is the dark web.