You’ve probably heard of the terms dark web and Tor mentioned in the media, but using these sites isn’t nearly as risky as it may sound. It’s actually very easy to start.

The dark web consists of pages that aren’t indexed by search engines like Google. The dark web is the part of the internet that contains data and information that would normally be kept private. For example, email inboxes, online banking logins and Google Drive folders live on the deep web – they aren’t visible to the general public using a normal browser.

On the dark web, there are several sites that have legitimate functions. For instance, the site SecureDrop is a dark web site that allows whistleblowers to send sensitive information to news agencies anonymously. There are sites where users can purchase and sell stolen credentials, like passwords and credit card numbers. These sites are often called “marketplaces” and the most well-known examples are Silk Road and AlphaBay, however there are many others that have been around for a while.

Tor is the primary way to access the dark web. It connects you via a number of volunteer servers that are scattered around the world. This makes it difficult for anyone to track you. Tor is named that way because the data it encodes is processed through a variety of layers similar to the onion layering of pizza, which helps to secure your privacy.