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The Internet That Most of Us Don't Know

children technology Oct 28, 2018

by the editorial team and Sophia Ruan Gushée


Most people think of the internet or web simply as what they access from search engines and their favorite websites like Facebook.

However, the web that we know and experience through search engines is actually only a small portion of the whole world wide web. Another lesser known part of the world wide web that you may have heard of is called the dark web.


What is the Dark Web?

The dark web is one of three parts of the world wide web.

  1. The surface web is the part that is easily accessed by major search engines like Google and Yahoo.  

  2. The second part of the world wide web is called the “deep web” and contains databases and services inaccessible by traditional search engines. Users must search individual databases, and examples of content found here are government records, academic databases, and corporate intranets.

  3. The “dark web” is an encrypted part of the internet most commonly accessed by a specific web browser call TOR.


Accessing the Dark Web 

The Onion Router (TOR) “protects” users and website operators anonymity by encrypting all transactions. This means your actions online are not tracked which makes it possible for illegal activities to occur.

The anonymity of the dark web has created an expanse of illegal/explicit content. While most people want to stay clear of this type of content, some teens and adults may be curious to see what’s out there.


Why is the Dark Web Dangerous? 

When identities are encrypted, illegal activities easily occur and just about anything can be purchased or sold on the dark web. Anonymity protects all kinds of fraudulent individuals, cyberbullies, predators, and criminals.


What’s on the Dark Web?

 A tech-savvy child or adult can use TOR to access the dark web’s network of sites such as Hidden Wiki. These sites provide links to some pretty frightening resources you can not find in regular web searches such as: 

  • Drug dealing

  • Guns and weapons

  • False ID’s and documents

  • Gambling

  • Terrorist organizations

  • Computer hacking tools


What Can Parents Do to Protect Children?

Here are some ways parents can prevent their children from accessing dangerous websites through the dark web. By following these guidelines, adults can set a good example for children, too.

  1. Have open discussions with middle school and high-school aged kids about the dangers of the dark web

  2. Check all devices for TOR and delete all unknown browsers

  3. Use parental monitoring apps such as Pumpic that alerts parents to dark web activity

  4. Be aware of unusual mail or packages delivered to your home

  5. Keep computers in common areas where children are less likely to get lost on the “web”


Final Thoughts

The internet and associated webs are here to stay. Children are introduced to the technological world very early in life and grow up with enhanced opportunities for learning, communication, and fun, but the internet isn’t always safe.

A parent can help promote internet safety for children through education, supervision and open conversations about the dangers of the secret online world of the dark web. Adults that follow these guidelines can set a good example for all children.

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