Searching the internet for people, services, or general information is getting easier as technology advances, but as companies improve their target marketing, it’s also getting more complicated. The more we look, the more we’re distracted and pelted with unwanted ads. Searching the ‘deep web’ is a way to avoid this, protect your privacy, and improve your search results.
What is the Deep Web?
The deep web is often wrongly associated with murky places on the internet known for illegal activity. It’s not the same thing as the ‘dark web,’ often tied to horror stories depicted in movies and the media. While reaching either one requires special access, most people use the deep web every day without even knowing it.
More than 96 percent of online content is on the deep web, but it requires authentication, i.e., your login and password to access it. Things like your personal email account and personal banking portal are considered the deep web, and are not going to show up on a Google search. Google and other popular search engines are referred to as the ‘surface web.’
No one can find your personal information with a simple Google search. Your most personal information would be available to the whole world if people could find it by Googling your name. Websites are expected not to index protected pages with Google to protect your privacy.
How to Run a Deep Web Search
Though there are a number of search engines designed for ‘deep web’ searching, you can start by searching for a database through Google or any other mainstream search engine. The information on these databases can only be found by typing in a certain term and not through a link, making it hard for major search bots to find them.
You could Google “musician database” or “Ohio criminal database,” for example, and then search that database for specific information. You can also go to searchengineguide.com to find a list of search engines for databases on a specific topic. Libraries on college campuses often subscribe to pay-to-use databases for academic purposes. These databases have information not found on surface web engines.
Deep Web vs. Google
There is said to be around 500 times more content on the deep web than what shows up in a normal Google search. That’s because Google searches are very generic, and turn up information that’s very oriented to what you’ve searched for in the past. There are millions of websites changing all the time, and they have huge personal websites and records related to people.
These websites are not indexing information for Google to find. Google and other major search engines are also closely watching how you surf. So if you want to have a truly effective search, it helps to keep your identity hidden.
Using Deep Web Search Engines for Privacy
DuckDuckGo advertises its service as a Google replacement and a “search engine that doesn’t track you.” It searches the internet without recording your search activity. You also won’t be bombarded with targeted ads. With a protected search history, you should get more direct search results. Start Page is a similar search engine. To keep it safe, you should always be sure to choose a site that has your security in mind.
2 Deep Web People Search Engines
There are several other search engines that look for websites that are not indexed for Google. They can search databases based on an email address, social username, or other identity used for a social profile. In other words, looking for information hidden from the ‘surface web.’
CheckThem is a search engine that looks for a person by searching personal data and profile information. The search can turn up pictures or other information you might find in a normal social media profile. It might turn up information on the person’s most recent trip. CheckThem searches for anyone in the U.S. with a social media profile over the age of 18.
MyLife is a similar people search engine designed to find people either by name, email address, or phone number. It searches member directories and other databases to find online profiles and public records.
What is the Dark Web?
While the vast majority of content online is considered the ‘deep web,’ it also includes the ‘dark web.’ The dark web is also commonly known as the invisible web or hidden web. It’s estimated to make up about .01 % of content on the deep web. Of the 5,000 or so websites found on the dark web, about over half were found to be illegal in 2016. The purposes of the illegal sites included extremist organizations, drugs, weapons, and illegal pornography.
Searching the Dark Web
The dark web is made of websites on the Tor network that end in the domain “.onion.” Not only is it hidden from surface web engines, you also have to have a special browser to use it. You need to download the Tor browser to access the network. The browser is free, it is not illegal, and anyone can download it.
Though there is a lot of illegal activity on the Tor network, it is also used by privacy advocates who don’t want their browsing habits monitored. Journalists commonly use it to talk to anonymous sources. So do researchers and dissidents in heavily-censored countries who want to hide their identities and locations.
Find Out If You’re Information is on the Dark Web
A lot of personal information can be found on the deep web. It is important to keep that information secure. While it may be difficult to hide every piece of information about yourself from the internet, it’s most important to be confident that your passwords, banking, and other security information