The Internet has permanently altered human life. The dark Web is a source of worry for all parents. Supervising or limiting children’s online behaviors is one way to keep them away from the dark Web. Stay updated on what your children are doing online and ask them non-threatening questions.
The dark Web is mainly associated with being evil, creepy, and dangerous. You want to keep your kids away from this. But what if they’re genuinely interested? What if they happen to come across something they shouldn’t?
What is the Web?
World Wide Web (WWW) (also known as the Web) is an information system that uses Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) to identify documents and other web resources that can then be linked together through hyperlinks and accessed through the Internet. Read more on How does the Internet work?
What are the various internet parts?
The three levels of the Internet are the Open Web, Deep Web, and Dark Web. Each is unique and has a different purpose. So, what exactly is included in each level?
What is Open Web?
The open Web is the publicly accessible portion of the Internet that most children use daily and accessed via search engines like Google or Yahoo.
What is the Deep Web?
The term “deep web” simply refers to internet pages that are not indexed by search engines. If you use a search engine like Google, you won’t find them. This means you’ll need to know the website’s exact address to visit it. The deep Web contains online databases, personal banking accounts, email, and password-protected sites.
What is the Dark Web?
The term “dark web” refers to encrypted parts of the Internet that can only be accessed using particular secure browsers such as the TOR( The Onion Network ) browser. These areas are not accessible by regular search engines, although it is accessible to everyone if they know-how.
According to research conducted in 2015, approximately 57 percent of dark web pages hosted unauthorized content. New research, Into the Web of Profit, published in 2019, found that 60% of the deep Web could hurt businesses, except sites that sell drugs.
What Type of Contents is available on the Dark Web?
The dark Web is used by a wide range of people for a wide range of purposes, but it is mainly used for illegal activity. Since children are curious about the dark Web, it has attracted many children who might be at risk.
The dark Web contains a variety of content that may be dangerous to children, some of which are mentioned below:
Malware is harmful software that can damage your device. Children can unknowingly download a file from the Internet that contains malware, which can infect a computer by downloading it from a website or opening an infected attachment in an email message.
The malware allows cybercriminals to invisibly take control of your computer, giving them access to your personal and financial data. Furthermore, some malware can block your computer’s most critical systems. Read more on preventive measures to be taken to mitigate Cybercrime.
A form of child sexual exploitation is child pornography. Children’s learning patterns are harmed by exposure to pornography, and their mental development is hampered. Images imprinted on a child’s mind at a young age also reflect on their behavior, and this negative experience motivates a child to act sexually towards other children. These rash actions are the outcome of pornographic material they came across.
Children can come into contact with illegal drug trafficking websites. Children may be curious to learn more about the drugs. Illicit drugs are harmful to everyone, but they are especially dangerous to a child whose body is still developing. Illicit drugs have the potential to damage the brain, heart, and other vital organs.
Drug use negatively affects a child’s ability to do well in education, athletics, and other activities. It is frequently more difficult to think logically and make sound choices. When children use drugs, they can do stupid or harmful things that can harm them – or anyone.
Hacking Government Data:
On the Dark Web, hacked government data is profitable, with many customers trying to buy lists of thousands of addresses, social security numbers, and other confidential information. Millions of government records have been breached using the deep Web. The following is a list of government data breaches:
- The Texas Comptroller’s Office reported a hack in 2011 that exposed the personal details of 3.5 million Texans, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and driver’s license numbers.
- When a database server at the South Carolina Department of Revenue was hacked in 2012, it revealed 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 taxpayers’ credit and debit card numbers.
Illegal Weapons Purchasing and Sale:
The dark Web facilitates the distribution of illegal firearms that have already been sold on the black market and provides a possible source of trafficking for lawfully acquired arms. Children will be more curious about firearms and want to learn more, which may lead them to the dark web.
Drawbacks of Dark Web:
- The Dark Web makes it easier to carry out some of the most severe crimes, such as hiring a hitman and trafficking drugs.
- Although the dark Web guarantees its users confidentiality, it can also violate it.
- Effect on the mental growth of children
- On the dark Web, private images, medical records, and financial documents can be stolen and shared.
Ways to Protect Your Child From The Dark Web
You may be aware of how difficult it is to overcome a dark web addiction. Is it possible to overcome a dark web addiction?
Here are a few suggestions for keeping your child safe on the dark Web.
Encourage Them in Physical Exercise:
Physical exercising is a great way to get rid of stress and addiction. Physical exercise assists children in developing mental clarity, reducing tension. Also will allow you to spend more time with your child and strengthen your relationship. Physically active children are also more likely to be motivated and concentrated.
Take Children on a Trip:
The easiest way to de-stress is to take a vacation. Not only can you keep peace and enjoy your time, but so can your kids. Most significantly, you will be able to restrict your child’s access to the Internet on particular days without them complaining. Take family photos during a vacation, plan tasty meals, and spend quality time with your children, where a child would be able to stay away from the dark Web.
Monitor Child’s Internet Usage:
The Internet has become a worldwide obsession for millions of people. Children visit various websites, which exposes them to various inappropriate content. It may cause different problems in children, including difficulties with schoolwork and low grades, and psychological well-being and growth. The following are some safety precautions to take with your children:
- Set aside a specific time for your child to use the Internet during the day.
- Switch off internet access during the hours or days that you specify.
- Before going to bed, turn off your child’s mobile phone and Internet access.
Use Parental Control App:
You can use parental control app like fenced.ai to keep an eye on your children. You can keep track of what your child does online. This assists in the analysis of what they surf online. It will assist you in taking the requisite steps for your children. This is an excellent way to keep kids from accessing offensive content on the Internet.
You can also use Cold Turkey, which is a practical application for parents who want to help their children overcome their addiction. Cold Turkey is a browser add-on that blocks websites only on computers. You can add an infinite number of websites that you want to ban, and you can even add websites that contain offensive content to the list of personalized blocklists if you want your child to be protected from them.
Have a Conversation With Your Child:
Your child might end up on the wrong track. As a result, you must be aware of your child’s mindset and reasoning. Inquire about your child and have a conversation with them. Give them some advice. Explain why they need to stay away from the dark Web. Offer them some logic. Always watch your children and their actions. Ask them about their feelings regularly. Check to see if they are doing well. If your child refuses to talk or discuss with you, inquire about their success with their teachers.
Explain the Dark Web risks to your children and why they should avoid them. Tell them to come to you if they have any issues online.
Spend Time With Your Children:
Spend quality time with their children. You must make time for your children and remind them that you love them and will always be there to help them.
Talk to your children as if you’re a friend; this will make them feel more at ease with you and allow them to share anything with you. Children who spend more time with their families have a lower chance of engaging in illegal and risky behaviors. As your child grows, your relationship with them will change, modify, and improve, so allocate time in your hectic schedule to spend with your children.
Reduce Your Internet Use:
Since you are a child’s first influencer, you must be cautious in your actions, as children will imitate your actions. To cut down on your internet use, don’t use your phone or laptop in front of your kids all of the time. Explain why you’re using it and when necessary to use it.
Explain the dangers of using cell phones and computers excessively. Instead of giving them a smartphone or laptop to play games on or watch videos on, play games with them.
Motivate Them To Participate In Extra Activities:
Motivate your kid to engage in extracurricular activities such as dance, singing, swimming, and other sports. You can also participate with your children and play games with them. Extracurricular activities can boost self-esteem and confidence. Praise your children, which will encourage them to do so in the future. Participating in extracurricular activities encourages children to limit their internet use, which protects them from the dangers of the dark Web.
Keep All Electronics And Gadgets In Common Spaces:
Allowing children to use computers, smartphones, or cell phones while alone should be restricted, and don’t keep a computer in their bedroom. Instead, keep electronic devices in an open area, such as the living room or in the kitchen, where you can see them when they’re browsing the Web.
You’ll have an easier time spying on them. Not only that, but you can make it a rule that they can only use their phones in open spaces, and if they disagree, they won’t be allowed to use them. As a result, you’ll be constantly aware of your kids’ activities.
Limit Technology Access:
Many children can’t resist the temptation to surf the Dark Web, even though it is dangerous. Keep electronic devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices in common areas that will help you to stay updated and set limits on their use. Allowing children to use their smartphones before bedtime is not a good idea, so don’t allow phones during bedtime. Here’s some advice you should give your child to keep them away from the dark Web’s dangers.
- Talk to your kids about the dark Web.
- Discuss the dangers of using the dark Web.
- Scams and illegal smuggling should be made known to your kids.
- You should never click on a connection sent to you by someone you don’t know.
- Tell your child that he or she may come to you at any time.
How can you safeguard your child from the dangers of the Dark Web?
- Using a virtual private network to add an additional layer of security to your child’s online activities is a good idea (VPN).
- Please notify the CEOP if your child comes across something disturbing or concerning.
- Make them aware that those who use the dark Web to remain private may have complex motives for doing so, which may endanger them.
What dangers does the Dark Web pose to children?
- Children can access sites that contain pornographic photos, sites that sell drugs, and sites that sell guns.
- Sex offenders are more likely to approach children, and they often use the Dark Web to communicate online and plan how they can exploit children.
- Because of the dark Web’s secrecy, it’s more difficult for law enforcement to investigate reports of violence.
What is the purpose of using the Dark Web?
The purpose of using the dark Web are:
- To hide identity.
- It’s common among civil liberties organizations, journalists, and others who value online privacy.
- To gain access to potentially harmful information
- Hidden services – through TOR itself isn’t hidden; the sites and users it connects to are protected by several layers of darknet encryption.
- They may be a criminal or planning to be involved in illegal activity.
- For black market transactions
- Purchasing illicit goods (such as guns or drugs)
- For pedophiles and terrorists, there are forums and media exchanges.
What to do if I discover that my child is surfing the Dark Web?
- Maintain your composure and gain a better understanding of the situation.
- Understand why they’re using the platform and why they’re using it.
- Have an open, honest discussion with them, and pay attention to what they have to say.
- Help them to recognize the warnings.
- People with sinister motives are skilled at gaining confidence and can use this relationship to exert pressure on your kid. Assist them in identifying who to speak to and what information is appropriate to share.
What is the danger of using the Dark Web?
The dark web can be dangerous if you aren’t careful about what you view. Hackers may prey on children in particular, and they may unintentionally give away personal details. Alternatively, they can come across criminal activity without even understanding it. Though there is so much illegal activity and children can come across deeply upsetting and inappropriate content, there is also the possibility of psychological damage.
In today’s digital age, protecting children from the dark Web is critical. Since children cannot differentiate between good and evil, parents have to direct and protect their children. It is vital to protect your child from the dangers of the Dark Web, such as scams, drug and weapon smuggling, child pornography, and so on. You can also monitor and track your children’s online behavior using various parental control software available on the market.
Overall, you must understand that the “Dark Web” is not a place where your child can wake up one day and declare, “I’m going there.” So as a parent you must be aware of the Dark web. I’ve listed a few safety guidelines for parents to follow to protect their children from the dark Web, and if you’re concerned about your children, you can use the rules listed above.