Now that everything from buying groceries to booking hotels can be done online, it is important to consider the potential risks that arise from being so connected to the world wide web. Are we really as safe as we think we are?
The internet as we know it has only been around for a few decades. As time passes and technology becomes indispensable to our daily activities, we are learning more and more about the online world. Like any other platform out there, there exists another face of the internet that most people are oblivious of — the dark web.
What is the ‘dark web’?
As intimidating as the name sounds, the dark web is still part of the internet, albeit inaccessible through our usual browsers. It functions on overlay networks that are out of reach of cyber authorities. It is the no-mans-land of the internet and a hub for a variety of illegal activities such as the sale of leaked personal information, account passwords, illegal arms and ammunition, and other heinous cybercrimes.
For us, the existence of the dark web and the anonymity of offenders operating through this medium can incite a plethora of questions surrounding our own online security.
Dark web monitoring services
Becoming aware of the dark web can cause us to realise that our personal information is not safe and may be vulnerable to identity theft. We often find ourselves powerless in these situations, due to our shallow understanding of what the dark web is. Large corporations can then harness our apprehension of the dark web to extract profits.
These companies demand huge sums of money as monthly premiums to keep your data safe from the dark web. As attractive as their packages may appear, very little information is shared by these companies about how they operate, leading to some serious misconceptions in regard to internet security and the dark web.
Common misconceptions surrounding the dark web
1. Compromised personal information can be erased permanently from the dark web
Information such as credit card details and account login details cannot be erased once in the dark web domain. Due to the large number of hosts and servers on the dark web, it is practically impossible to locate the information and delete it entirely from the server. However, by knowing exactly what information has been compromised, steps can be taken to prevent further damage.
2. Monitoring services can prevent your data from being sold on the dark web
Software exist that can scan the dark web for the presence of information, and it is recommended that you make use of this. However, no technology can prevent information from being uploaded to the dark web. Internet security companies who promise this are unlikely to be able to deliver on their word.
3. Dark web monitoring services can make you invincible to all breaches
While dark web monitoring services can help you identify a breach of data or alert you to compromised credentials, they cannot keep you safe from fraud. Taking precautions while using online banking services and keeping yourself updated to the developments in the online security sector is also recommended.
Vigilance is important
About 7 million records are compromised and sold on the dark web on a daily basis. At such a high volume, scammers are experts in devising new ways to breach your privacy and compromise your internet security. Companies such as Norton can provide Dark Web Monitoring services that can help alert you to security breaches, however nothing works as well as caution and vigilance. It is important that passwords are changed regularly, and credit card and bank statements monitored and scanned carefully for anomalies that can indicate any breach of information.
Apps You Can Relax With
Price and Platform: $1.99, iPhone
The people that have used this app are constantly singing its praises. When you use this app, you’ll want to place your phone next to you on your mattress. The app works alongside the accelerometer in the iPhone, using a sensor to monitor your movement so that it can accurately determine the phase of sleep you’re in and track your sleep cycle levels. It presents you with a graph that can tell you a lot about the quality of the sleep you’re getting. This data can be incredibly useful. For example, you can see if you don’t sleep as well on nights where you drink tea.
When you’re sleeping lightly, you’ll wake up more easily, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. When you set an alarm, the app sets a 30-minute window ahead of that time. It will make sure you’ve woken up when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep. Even if you’re woken up 30 minutes earlier, you’ll feel much better when you woke up.
There’s a similar app with fewer features available on Android, known as Sleepbot. This app also keeps track of your sleep patterns so that it can wake you up at the appropriate time.
Price and Platform: $0.99, Android, Free, iOS
This app does everything it can to help you relax. It plays cosmic-inspired music while showing you time-lapse photos that were actually taken by NASA astronauts. If you touch the views, you’ll be able to set the speed of your images. Thanks to the weather and clock availabilities, it’s handy to have this app on your night table. You can use this app to distract yourself from the stresses of your everyday life.
Price and Platform: Free, iPhone
Deep Relaxation is based around the Silva Method, which teaches you to center yourself while meditating. There are two different options: a 30-minute track for deep relaxation or 20-minutes for quick relaxation The leader of these tracks, Laura, has a voice that’s pleasant and soothing. The app has plenty of positive reviews, and Laura’s relaxing voice is one of the things that people praise. Although the app is free, it’s possible that there are no costs because the app is trying to entice you to pay for another program. Still, you can get a lot out of the free version of the app. On Android, there’s a similar free app titled “Relax With Andrew Johnson Lite.” This is a self-hypnosis app that is designed to encourage relaxation.
Squeeze and Shake Stress Relief
Price and Platform: $0.99, iPhone
This app essentially operates as a stress ball. It looks like a rubber duck, and it makes a fun squeaking noise when you press down on the screen. If you press the sides of the phone and give it a good shake, you’ll be able to get a hand massage. When you shake faster, you’ll get a more intense massage. People have been using stress balls to unwind for a very long time. People often say that repeating the same movement over and over is enough to relax you. Of course, people will notice you shaking and squeezing your phone, which is why you’ll probably want to use that app when you’re at home. When you’re done using the app, you should feel far more relaxed.
Price and Platform: $1.99, iPhone and iPad
Not everyone is a fan of aquariums. It can be creepy to look at fish in this sort of environment, especially if you spot some dead fish in the tank. However, studies have found that watching fish in the water can lower your heart rate, elevate your mood, and even bring your blood pressure down. This is the reason you see fish tanks in waiting rooms. You’ll see videos featuring real fish, not fish that are animated. You’ll be able to select your favorites from 28 different species and even change the lighting in the foreground and the background. Thankfully, you’ll never have to worry that these fish will die.
If you feel you may need professional help for stress or depression visit clarityclinic.com.
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