Dark Web Vs. Deep Web: What is the Difference?

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The terms “dark web” and “deep web” are often used interchangeably as though they mean the same thing. This is a common misconception and the two are quite different. Our recent blog series has gone into detail on the definitions of the dark web and the deep web.

It is important to understand that two are not the same and we’ll take a closer look at the major differences between the dark web and deep web. Armed with this knowledge, you will be a savvier, safer internet user.

How are they different?

One of the first things to understand is that the dark web is actually a part of the deep web. The deep web is incredibly expansive and is substantially larger than the surface web, the area we use every day. By contrast, websites on the dark web represent a very small percentage – about .01% - of content on the deep web.  

The deep web represents the web content that is not indexed or searchable by standard search engines. This includes password-protected sites, subscription services, databases, intranets, and more. For the most part, the deep web is a harmless portion of the internet and is quite important for protecting personal and sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

On the other hand, websites on the dark web use encryption software to make their users and locations anonymous. Since users can protect their identity and whereabouts on these sites, the dark web has become a marketplace of illegal and unsavory activities. Behavior conducted in this realm is untraceable and it is estimated that more than half the content on the dark web is illicit or potentially harmful.

Users of each type also differ. Those accessing the deep web might benefit from the safe and private form of communication offered in this realm. Regular users of the deep web might include journalists, whistleblowers, political protestors, and citizens of countries where censorship abounds.

Dark web users seek anonymity and secrecy as they conduct their dealings. Given that the dark web is built on anonymity it is difficult to know who is using it. Since the dark web is known to contain illegal, and even dangerous, content we can assume that users of the dark web are seeking anonymity in order to carry out criminal activities or make illegal purchases.

While not all material and content on the dark web is illegal, negative, or dangerous it is important to understand that the potential for damaging items is certainly there. Understanding the differences between the deep web and the dark web is necessary in today’s world of internet access and use.

The AJTC team are experts in data and network security and can help your company protect sensitive and valuable information. Proactively monitoring systems and enforcing security policies will go a long way in safeguarding data.

We will work with you to create and implement solutions to best suit your business. Contact AJTC today to learn more about our managed services, hosted services, and customizable technology solutions. You may also visit AJTC here or call 708.942.8200.

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