Understanding the difference between the Dark Web and the Deep Web
The internet has revolutionised the way people do business and how they communicate in their personal lives. However, the internet that most individuals know and love is just a small part of a much bigger network that is largely unknown to the general public. The other 96 to 99 percent is known as the “deep web,” and it is becoming better known mainly because of the sense of mystery that surrounds it. A look at this vast collection of information shows its obvious potential for the future of internet use.
What Lies Beneath the Surface
The web can be thought of as a huge ocean of information. The part that is connected by traditional search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or Bing, is part of the surface web, an area that contains static pages that are linked with other pages. This is estimated to be only 1 to 4 percent of the entire web, however. The rest contains dynamic content that changes every time the page comes up, and a variety of other types of information that can only be accessed by typing in the individual sites or special databases that can be used to direct individuals to a page.
What Can Be Found on the Deep Web?
People access the deep web daily without knowing it. The deep web contains emails in Gmail accounts, office intranets, online bank statements, Twitter direct messages, credit card information, photos you have uploaded but not released to the public eye, and a vast array of un-indexed pages that search engines can’t find. For the most part, much of this information is inaccessible to the public, but hackers often use it to ply their trade. Consequently, the deep web’s security is much in question at the present time.
‘The Deep Web’ VS ‘The Dark Web’
The deep web should not be confused with the dark web, which uses special software for indexing sites and is known for a variety of nefarious activities. The dark web, however, is also used by activists in countries where political dissent is severely punished. The dark web uses its own type of search engine software, separate from what the general public uses for searching tasks. “Tor” is the program commonly used to access the dark web, because it is anonymous and cannot be traced. Tor connects users to the .onion networks using private servers and nodes through which the packets of user information travel, thereby allowing the user to maintain complete privacy. Most of the deep web is not connected to this .onion network of sites, however, and the sites are difficult to find because they do not come up using the typical search engines that are used.
Computer experts are working on new types of search engines that will allow better access to all that the deep web holds, making the information available to a greater number of people. These innovations will also spark new ways to make the deeper levels of the web practical for both business and individual use.