What is the Deep Web? The deep web is a world of websites that aren’t indexed by search engines, such as Google. These sites might include your password-protected Gmail inbox, your private content on social media, your personal website or your e-banking accounts. You access the deep web every day, though you might not realize it. The term is usually used to refer to websites that are devoted to illegal activity, but there are plenty of noncriminal reasons why content might be kept on the dark web. Many websites avoid showing up in search engine results by blocking the bots that spider the internet to collect information for indexing. Emails, chat conversations, e-banking data, your office intranet and personal posts on social media are all examples of this. Paywalled newspaper articles, educational content sites that require a subscription or your company’s private database are also on the deep web. While you might think that your sensitive personal information wouldn’t be accessible on the deep web, there are a surprising number of ways for criminals to steal this information and use it for illicit activities. You might have heard of a drug-dealing site called Silk Road that was once a household name, but there are countless other marketplaces and forums for illegal activities on the deep web. In an age when a good background checker can reveal your entire life story and when government and private companies collect citizens’ personal information on a massive scale, the deep web is a vital resource for those who want to protect their privacy. While it’s true that the dark web has some nefarious uses, most of its users are doing good deeds on behalf of others.
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