10 Interesting Facts about the Internet

Over the past two decades, the internet has become an integral part of life all around the world. It has completely revolutionized and changed the way that we communicate with each other, how we entertain ourselves and conduct our work and businesses. It has provided a platform to speak out and be heard for every person who has access to the internet. The internet is a miraculous invention that has allowed us to be able to access information about any topic. The internet provides people with access to the sum of all human knowledge and people can access it from the phones in their pockets.

By the way, do you know what happens in just one internet minute?

However, there is a dark side to the internet too. Due to the open nature of the internet, there is a large portion of the World Wide Web that is used for illegal purposes.

Most people only use the ‘surface web’. This is the part of the internet that has all of the popular websites, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.

These websites comprise only 4% of the total World Wide Web. The other 96% is the so-called ‘dark web’ where there is no regulation or encryption to bother with.

This freedom has allowed people to provide illegal services to customers through the dark web. These services range from delivering illegal drugs to hiring assassins to kill someone.

This highlights an important point.

The internet is not good or bad by itself. It is simply a tool and it is up to us to use it for good or bad purposes.

There is still a lot of untapped potential on how we can further use the internet to revolutionize our lives.

Social media platforms are an example of how the internet completely changed how we communicate with and interact with other people. The only thing that’s needed for the next innovation is imagination.

The extent of how much the internet has changed our lives and how much potential it has is not known to many people. Here are a few facts about the current state of the internet that you might not have known about.

The internet is not controlled by anyone

Internet is not controlled by anyone

The World Wide Web is made up of a lot of nodes and hubs that are spread everywhere on the planet where people want to use the internet. In this way, the internet is ‘owned’ by all of us. If a single node goes down, the internet will keep working, albeit a bit slower than normal.

A popular myth that is spread about the internet is that it is owned by 7 people who each hold one of the 7 ‘keys to the internet’. The only function of these keys is to restart the internet in case of a major disaster that leaves society in tatters. So unless a meteor hits the Earth or a nuclear war breaks out, the internet is not owned by any one person or entity.

The word Internet is not the same as the World Wide Web

Internet is not the same as the World Wide Web

People consider the World Wide Web and the Internet to mean the same thing. However, there is a large difference between them.

The Internet is a World Wide network made up of numerous smaller networks in their territories.

The World Wide Web however is a standardized infrastructure built to enable consistent online experiences for everyone all over the world.

The Web is made up of websites that follow the same programming protocols and standards, which allows the Web to work the same anywhere in the world.

An easy way to picture it is to think of the Internet as the pipeline through which all internet activity flows, and the Web is just one of many pieces of information that flow through that pipe. The Web is software that works all over the world thanks to the hardware infrastructure known as the Internet.

There are three layers of the Internet

The first layer is the one that most people are intimately familiar with. It contains all the websites that can be found through search engines like Bing or Google.

Google and bing

This layer contains all the social media platforms people just, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Whatsapp, etc. All of these sites and services are indexed and accessible through search engines.

The second layer of the internet is known as the deep web. It is deep in the sense that it contains all those parts of the World Wide Web whose contents are not accessible through normal search engines because they have not been indexed.

Social media the 2nd Layer

The content of the data in the deep web is mostly made up of common uses such as online banking, email services, restricted or private social media accounts, and any website that requires people to sign up first by paying before being allowed access to view the content.

The amount of mundane data that fill this layer of the Internet is why it is called the ‘deep web’.

The third layer of the Internet is known as the Dark Web. It is made up of websites that are completely hidden from everyone and only authorized people can access them.

3rd layer dark web

The most commonly used method to hide websites is to use Tor, which is an internet browser that encrypts all data that passes through it. The encryption is so good that no one can see what you’re doing on the dark web.

Due to the unregulated and hidden nature of the dark web, it has become a place where people buy and sell all kinds of illegal products and services. The selling of illegal drugs and weapons is one of the most common uses of the dark web. There are good things in the dark web too, but sadly, nowadays it is living up to its name by offering products and services that reflect the darkness in the collective consciousness of humanity in these difficult times.

The US Government created Tor and is still funding it to improve it

Tor Browser

Tor was created by the U.S. Navy as a method for intelligence agencies to access and monitor websites in countries all over the world without being detected. It was also meant to allow the Navy to talk to their sources in those parts of the world they were monitoring.

However, it soon became clear that if the Navy kept being the only people who were using Tor, then it would lead to their detection.

So they began to provide the highly advanced encryption technology of the Tor browser to the public.

That led to a lot of people all around the world begin to use Tor for their purposes, good and bad. Activists and liberals in countries where free speech is not allowed to use Tor to fight for their causes.

US intelligence agencies use Tor to surf the dark web and try to gather intelligence and spread democracy. At the same time, terrorists use the dark web to talk to each other and coordinate their plans and activities.

The US navy let the genie out of the bottle and now anyone can use the dark web to interact with other people in complete secrecy.

Despite this, the US Navy is continuing to support work and progress on the Tor browser to keep improving its encryption to keep up with the state of progress in computer science, to ensure Tor’s security and privacy. The last publicly available record of the amount of spending the US Navy spends to improve Tor is from 2015.

In that year alone, the US Navy spent 1.2 million dollars on Tor.

They spent $1.8 million in 2013 on Tor.

The Dark Web and Tor are doing a lot of good Too!

A lot of the dark web is indeed made up of illegal trade, but there is also a lot of good that happens in the dark web as well. In countries where people can not speak out against the social norms and traditions for fear of punishment and retaliation from the authorities and people in power, activists in these countries find a haven in the dark web to allow them to talk to each other freely and openly.

According to some estimates, around 60% of the dark web is used for good things like this.

The Dark Web is slowly being monetized

Dark Web is slowly being monetized

By the very nature of Tor and the Dark Web, law enforcement authorities of any country are not able to control what happens in the dark web. People from all around the world are monetizing portions of the dark web, usually with the trade platforms that allow illegal products and services.

No one knows exactly how much the dark web is worth. We can’t even make an estimate. All of the content on the dark web is deep underground in the infrastructure of the internet all financial transactions in it take place using cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin used to be the favorite currency of dark web users, but now they are switching to any of the numerous other cryptocurrencies that have sprung up because law enforcement authorities had become good at tracking bitcoins.

There are now thousands of other cryptocurrencies to choose from and authorities can’t even begin to track them all.

Your identity can get stolen and sold on the Dark Web

Your identity can get stolen and sold on the Dark Web

In 2014, there were 17.6 million victims of identity theft in the United States alone. In recent years, hackers have been increasingly trying to steal more and more customer records to steal identities.

In the first six months of 2019, over 4.1 billion personal records were leaked by a data breach. According to the IMF, identity records and credit card details are the second most wanted product that is traded on the dark web, with the first being illegal drugs and medicines.

Identity theft is a very lucrative business and a single record of someone can cost quite a bit, while the details of someone’s entire identity can be bought for prices as high as $3,000.

Hacking is at an all-time high

The hacking rate is increasing

 Over 30,000 websites are hacked every single day. Most of these sites are legitimate sites of small businesses that accidentally download malware and distribute it further to other people. Hackers target small businesses because they usually have low security.

To get an idea of how prevalent hacking is right now, on average, hackers steal 75 records every second.

WordPress websites are another popular target for hackers. WordPress has almost 55,000 plugins and hackers use vulnerabilities in those plugins to gain access to their victims’ systems.

This, combined with the fact that around 35% of all websites use WordPress, means that hackers can attack any of these websites and gain access to spread malware and steal personal records.

Online gambling and casinos have become an integral part of the Internet

Online gambling and casinos getting famous on internet

Microgaming developed the first online gambling software in 1994. The first gambling bet was made in an online casino in 1996.

Gambling enthusiasts found the internet to be a great way to play games like Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, and Video Poker, with people from all around the world, from the comfort of their homes.

This has evolved into a large online industry with online casinos and advanced gambling software making it a major part of the economy. One estimate puts the value of the online gambling industry at around 114.21 billion US Dollars in the coming years.

The Internet might save us from current and future pandemics

The Internet might save us from current and future pandemics

The Internet has radically changed how humanity deals with epidemics and pandemics. The internet is a completely new ‘thing’ that has changed how we communicate with each other. It has also given us the power to be able to talk to anyone at any time to warn them or inform them about something.

In the past, societies reacted to pandemics by huddling together with other people, in fear and shock. This leads to the spread of any infection or disease.

The internet allows people to warn the whole world that a virus has gotten loose and people can then use the internet to rapidly spread the information to everyone all around the world, giving warnings and allowing them to avoid getting infected by self quarantining themselves and waiting for the virus to die out.

Sadly, the internet also allows people to convince each other that the virus is a ‘hoax’ or something similar and these people then break their quarantines and demand a return to normal life. This leads to the spread of the virus instead of containing it and letting it run its course.

The silver lining to all this is that the internet allows doctors and scientists from all over the world to talk to each other and communicate seamlessly while working to develop a vaccine or a cure for the virus. Without the Internet, research on developing a vaccine would be extremely slow. With the use of the internet, any discovery can be instantly shared with the whole scientific community, and work can continue to use the discovery to further the development of a vaccine.

The Internet is a magnificent and grand human invention. It has crept into every part of human life and covers the entire planet like a spider web. We can use it for a good purpose, or a bad purpose. There are limitless possibilities to improve our lives and change society using the power of the internet.

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