Okay, so this one is going to be a bit different from my usual happy, sunshiney type posts. This post is going to educate you on something I personally had no idea about up until yesterday. That topic being, ‘The Deep Web‘. It’s a very scary place that no parent wants their child to end up, or to go. Just what is the deep web? Read on to find out.
I was approached by my 13 year old, and he asked me, “Hey, mom? Have you ever heard of the Deep Web?”
My reply was, “No, what’s that?”
He went on to tell me all about what it was, and how he learned about it. He found out about it from a friend and had been YouTubing videos about it. He was so fascinated by it, and so excited that this existed, and it scared me that he took such an interest once I found out what its really about.
The deep web, invisible web, or hidden web are parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not indexed by standard search engines for any reason. The content is hidden behind HTML forms. The opposite term to the deep web is the surface web, which is accessible to anyone using the Internet.
Now, you’re probably thinking it’s a pretty complex task to actually get onto The Deep Web like I did. Well, here’s what PC Advisor has to say about it:
How do you get to the deep Web?
Technically, this is not a difficult process. You simply need to install and use Tor. Go to (website removed because I don’t want to promote it) and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser.
Um, yeah. That’s pretty easy. And scary. Wow.
Sidenote: Now, I don’t allow my kids to just do or watch whatever they want online. He has a Chromebook for school that the school issues to every student. They supposedly have a program, known as Go Guardian installed on every school computer, that monitors, tracks and reports everything they do and type – including all searches – to the school adminstration and school board. But these kids are smart. They know how to hack their way around the firewalls and apps and programs. They know how to put their computers into Develepor mode and bypass all of the tracking software. How they know how to do this stuff as 12, 13 and 14 year old middle school students is beyond me. I have talked to my kids repeatedly about not ever doing this because they can get into a lot of trouble. No matter what I say, though, kids are gonna do whatever they are gonna do. They will find a way. All I can do is my best.
Anyways, back to what I was saying.
He knew pretty much every answer to every question I asked, which concerned me. Once I really got educated on the topic and read some things about it online, I was honestly afraid.
The Deep Web is what makes up about 99% of the internet, believe it or not. Your typical websites like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and pretty much every other website you’d visit on a daily basis only make up 1% of the internet.
So, on the Deep Web, this is where everything else is hidden. It’s where all information stored in every database in the world lives. It’s where videos of children being exploited live. It’s where body parts are sold illegally on the black market. It’s where predators lay in wait and share information, pictures, and videos of children. It’s where sex slavery, terrorist cells, human trafficking, and drug dealing takes place. It’s where illegal gambling happens. It’s where the worst types of videos – videos of all disturbing kinds – live.
Pretty much every deplorable, disgusting, bad thing you want to keep your child away from? That’s where it lives. It’s like a monster hiding in the shadows, laying in wait, lurking and just waiting to suck someone – possibly, your child – in, and corrupt their minds.
I tell you this because I want you to be aware that it exists, and it is real. I also want you to know that there is something you can do about it.
Talk to your children about what they are doing online. If you don’t normally have that conversation with them, now is the time to start. It’s not a bad idea, nor is it an invasion of privacy, to check their online activities by scouring over their internet history. If you don’t stop them before they make a grave mistake and view, download, or see the wrong content, do you know what the consequences may be for their actions?
Remember this: if your child commits a crime online – no matter what form or type of crime – there is a high liklihood that it could fall on you. Educate yourself. Stay informed. Read as much as you can. And take control. Remember – you’re the parent.
Also, a great idea would be to download some monitoring tools of your own to really keep tabs on what it is they are doing online, even when you can’t have eyes on them physically. You can set up the parental controls on your computer through Windows Live to send you weekly reports of what the kids are up to online. All of their activities are tracked that way – and its free. There is also the aforementioned Go Guardian – there is a fee for this service, though. Aside from that, there are the following with pricing:
- ContentWatch Net Nanny 7. $39.99 MSRP. …
- Symantec Norton Family Premier. $49.99 MSRP. …
- Kaspersky Safe Kids. $14.99 MSRP. …
- Circle With Disney. $99.00 MSRP. …
- Mobicip. $39.99 MSRP. …
- Qustodio Parental Control 2015. $44.95 MSRP. …
- Clean Router. $149.99 MSRP. …
I can recommend this one in particular because I have it and I know it works well.