What's the dark web?

The dark web is a part of the Internet that lets people hide their identity and location from other people and from law enforcement. As a result, the dark web can be used to sell stolen personal info.

How can you access the dark web?

To access the dark web, you can't use Google Search or browsers, such as Chrome or Safari. Instead, you need to use software designed specifically for this purpose, such as Tor or I2P.

What's the dark web used for?

The dark web is often associated with illegal activities, such as drug-trafficking and data breaches. However, government agencies also use the dark web to:

  • Share classified information
  • Perform other positive activities

Learn the difference between dark web and deep web

The dark web is often mistakenly described as the deep web.

The deep web refers to the parts of the Internet that you can't reach through search engines like Google Search. While this includes the dark web, the deep web also includes pages that you can only find if you register or sign in, like most content provided by Gmail and Facebook.

The deep web includes 90 per cent of the Internet, while the dark web probably includes less than 0.01 per cent.

How does personal info end up on the dark web?

Data breaches and malware are two common ways that can make personal info end up on the dark web.

Data breaches happen when a hacker steals user data from a company's database. This data can later be sold to identity thieves on the dark web.

Malware is any kind of software that can harm a computer. Malware can steal sensitive info from your computer, gradually slow it down and even send fake emails from your account. Learn how to protect yourself from malware.

How does Google know what personal info is on the dark web?

To find out what info is on the dark web, Google uses a third-party vendor. This vendor has access to databases that show what content is currently available on the dark web.

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