What is the Dark Web?

The “dark web.”

It’s an ominous-sounding term that crops up in discussions about internet security. So you might be wondering what the dark web is and how it can affect you. You could find yourself in trouble if your information shows up in this dark layer of the internet — and may even find your financial security and sensitive personal information at risk.

Let’s break down the dark web, explaining precisely what it is, what is found on dark web sites, and what to do if your personal information makes its way into its grasp.

We won’t be explaining how to access dark web sites in this piece, but rather its potentially harmful effects and how you can counteract them if needed.

What Is the Dark Web?

The dark web is a portion of the internet that is intentionally hidden and made difficult to access. The internet that you generally browse every day comprises the Clear Web and the Deep Web. The Clear Web is open to access and can usually be found via search engines such as Google.

The Clear Web and Deep Web

The Penny Hoarder is a great example of a site on the clear web (also known as the surface web) — we are easy to find, and you can access our content without paying.

The deep web refers to anything hidden from the primary web but accessible using your regular web browser. Popular examples of the deep web include content behind paywalls or password-protected accounts.

If you love Netflix’s content or have a paid subscription to a news service, those are examples of the deep web. They are locked but can be accessed with the right credentials.

To be clear: The deep web and the dark web aren’t the same thing, though the two phrases are occasionally used interchangeably.

The Dark Web

The dark web is a part of the internet that you can’t merely open your web browser of choice (Edge, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc.) and access by typing in a web address or using search engines. You’d need a Dark Web browser (although there are…



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