The dark web is notorious for being used by hackers, sex traffickers, those into organized crime and other nefarious activities. Being a small part of the deep web, dark web utilizes a technology that military researchers built in the 1990s to facilitate anonymous information exchange between intelligence operatives. Though some activists and whistle-blowers also use the dark web, it’s still considered a breeding ground that harnesses and encourages illegal activities.

Activities on the dark web

You can buy almost anything imaginable on the dark web, which include:

• Endangered animals and exotic pets

• Animal pelt, horn, bone, tusks, and other body parts

• Legal and illegal drugs

• Trafficked military goods

• Stolen identities, fake birth certificates and driver’s license, hacked bank/PayPal/cybercurrency accounts

• Banned books, leaked classified documents

From getting access to bomb-making materials and hiring contract killers to child pornography and sex abuse related stuff, the dark web offers a great variety at competitive pricing and anonymity. Though the dark web is more commonly associated with drug trafficking, weapons and child pornography, wildlife (especially endangered species) is quickly becoming the preferred choice of many criminals as they consider it to be a low-risk, high-profit activity. Though such trading is done from a few publicly accessible sites too, a lot has already shifted to the darn recess of the web.

What it means for you

When hackers and others with malicious intent get access to your personal and secure information, they can either use it to make your life hell or worse, put it up on the dark web to be sold to the best bidder. To protect your identity and information from falling into the wrong hands, online safety experts strongly suggest the use of a VPN service. Read the explanation below to know how it will help.

Since all your information is transmitted under the cloak of anonymity of your VPN service, you can safeguard the following:

• Payment data

• Medical records

• Authentication details for online/sensitive accounts

• Classified information (any email, online correspondence or documents and files stored in the cloud)

In case you want to visit the dark web, you will need to download and install Tor. In this case too, a VPN would help since when used together with Tor, it would further add to your anonymity and security. Now that you have read the explanation, perhaps you understand how important VPN is for secure browsing and fending off hackers and other bad elements of the dark web.