10 Most Dangerous Places On The Internet

"10 Most Dangerous Places On The Internet NUMBER 10: GAMING SITES Online gaming is big business According to a Nielsen NetView survey, gamers in the US spend a huge 407 million hours every year shooting zombies, racing cars and insulting each other’s mothers

But unfortunately, the vast popularity of gaming sites has also made them a prominent target for malicious users When Czech security company Avast looked into how risky gaming sites can be, they found that approximately 65% of all web-based malware came from these kind of pages Particularly hazardous sites included gamesfactoryinteractivecom and games-digest

com And viruses and malware aren’t even the worst part Gaming sites are notoriously vulnerable to predatory behaviour and grooming In February 2014, 14-year-old Breck Bednar from Essex, England, was stabbed to death by 19-year-old Lewis Daynes, who he had met whilst playing games online Daynes had been manipulating the young teenager over several months with false offers of high-paying jobs

When Bednar agreed to meet up with him, Daynes attacked him Daynes was sentenced to 25 years for the murder NUMBER 9: TWITTER How much danger could possibly be lurking in 140 characters? Well, quite a lot actually Since its rise to prominence in late 2007, Twitter has become a bit of a hotbed for scammers and viruses Falling victim to one of these scams can easily lead to the leaking of extremely private information, including login details, address and bank account information

Because it used to be the case that the character-count for any links you included counted towards your total limit, the site came to rely on URL altering websites This opened the door to criminal users and spam-bots, who started tweeting links to more dangerous sites, whilst handily disguising them with an innocent-looking URL It was using this technique that computer worm ‘Mikeyy’ was able to wreck havoc in April 2009 The virus would tweet disguised links to a site called ‘StalkDailycom’, which would instantly infect the account of anyone who clicked on them

It then used JavaScript to spread the infection to Twitter users who unwittingly visited the profiles of those already infected This worm spread approximately 10,000 automated messages, and resulted in the private details of thousands of users being compromised NUMBER 8: FAKE NEWS SITES Fake news – it’s more than just a Donald Trump catchphrase It’s actually an increasing problem, that could actually have very real, very serious ramifications The spread of deliberate misinformation is nothing new, but the growth of the internet and social media sites has certainly accelerated it

A Pew Research poll conducted in December 2016 found that 23% of Americans had personally shared fake news, whether knowingly or not And its popularity is not really all that surprising After all, you can make big bucks distributing fake news Jestin Coler – a writer who says he makes fake news content for fun – claims to have earned $10,000 a month through advertising on his websites But it’s not all fun and games – fake news can be dangerous

One of the most famous examples of fake news occurred in 2016, with so-called ‘Pizzagate’ On the 4th December, a North Carolina man opened fire on a Washington pizzeria that was being reported as the headquarters of a child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton These accusations were, as you probably guessed, fake news Thankfully, no one was hurt in the shooting, but it does show the terrifying effect these conspiracies-masquerading-as-the-truth can have on real world events NUMBER 7: TORRENT SITES Over the last decade, the popularity of sketchy online streaming sites has gone from strength to strength

I guess sometimes the temptation to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode straight away is a bit too much to resist… In a 2014 survey of 549 people, 14% of participants admitted using torrent sites But, considering some people may not want to own up to the dodgy practice, you should probably take that figure with a pinch of salt Perhaps unsurprisingly, watching or downloading music, videos or software on these kinds of sites does hugely increase your risk of falling victim to malicious online attacks According to Ben Edelman, privacy researcher from the Harvard Business School – they are actually among the most dangerous sites you can visit The reason for this, he argues, is that these sites don’t really have a specific reputation to defend

If a site gets taken down, they can just relaunch it with a different name on a different domain No big deal There is therefore no motivation for the people behind these sites to bother checking the files uploaded to ensure they wouldn’t spread viruses to those who download them NUMBER 6: DODGY HEALTH SITES With busy 21st century lifestyles and long waiting lists, it’s not always that easy to get a doctor’s appointment when you need one That’s why people are now turning to online doctors to get their lumps, lesions and lice checked out

But this isn’t always the best idea The Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research Journal argues that ‘the quality of the information and the cost effectiveness of online doctor consultations are uncertain’ And with something as important as your health, do you really want to risk getting bad advice? Then there’s the issue of patient confidentiality, which is kind of a big deal for proper in-person doctors, but apparently less so for those online In April 2017, online health advisor MDLIVE was hit with a lawsuit over patient privacy issues The lawsuit was launched by user Joan Richards, who is seeking $5 million in damages for failure to protect her information

Allegedly, the site takes an average of 60 screenshots in the first 15 minutes of a user signing up to its app, and sends them to a third party tech company in Tel Aviv without notifying customers That isn’t exactly what you want when discussing your most intimate health details NUMBER 5: SEARCH ENGINES RESULTS PAGES You’d think that places like Google would be among the safest places on the Internet, particularly considering they spend approximately $2 million a year on security researchers But Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo are falling victim to a phenomenon known as ‘search engine poisoning’, that could seriously jeopardize their users Basically, malicious users are creating sites designed to infect the computers of anyone who visits them, and then using Search Engine Optimization techniques to boost these sites’ rankings on results pages for popular, trending topics

For example, a study by security firm McAfee found that 19% of the search results for ‘Cameron Diaz and screensavers’ led to potentially risky domains Google is doing what it can to prevent this poison from spreading In April 2012 it launched an algorithm update known as ‘Penguin’, which was designed to de-rank sites with spammy, manipulative link profiles But with every new algorithm change, scammers simply adapt their methods and find ways around the restrictions Seeing as Google searches 30 trillion web pages 100 billion times a month – trying to track down the poisonous sites seems like a bit of a losing battle

NUMBER 4: PORN SITES Believe it or not, there are more dangers to watching porn than the risk of your parents walking in… Anti-virus software company Norton Symantec compiled a list of the 100 websites most likely to infect your company with viruses, and – surprise, surprise – almost half of them were home to ‘adult content’ It’s thought that about 2% of total web traffic each day is targeting pornography And, as viruses and scammers want to infect as big an audience as possible, adult sites are a natural target Roger Thompson, chief research officer with security firm AVG warns that ‘if you make a habit of visiting such sites, it’s a given that you’ll be attacked at some point’ Now, it’s not quite the fault of the porn sites, as they don’t actually host the malware themselves

But the problem comes from the adverts on the sites, which can install harmful files on your computer without you being any the wiser This is because few credible companies want to advertise on porn sites Therefore, in order to turn a profit, the sites have to resort to using dodgy advertisers, even when they know they could put their users at risk NUMBER 3: ASKFM Online discussion forums constitute one of the most significant risks to young Internet users

This is largely because they offer such a high degree of anonymity that literally anyone could be lurking amongst their users One of the worst offenders is Askfm, a ‘question and answer’ social media site boasting 65 million users – over 50% of which are under 18 You don’t need to sign up to the site using your real name, which sadly makes the site perfect for cyberbullies who can torment other users with minimal threat of repercussions You also cannot make your account private, like you can on Facebook, meaning that you can’t really stop harassment once it’s begun

In fact, cyberbullying has been allowed to continue so totally unchecked that the site has been directly link to the suicides of at least nine teenagers The youngest of which was just 12 years old NUMBER 2: FACEBOOK With a whopping 194 billion monthly users around the world, Facebook is undoubtedly a technological juggernaut You would therefore be forgiven for assuming that such a site would work tirelessly to make sure it was a safe and secure place… In May 2017, documents setting out guidelines for Facebook content moderators were leaked

The documents detailed what is and isn’t permitted on the platform, with the latter list being much shorter than you would expect – or hope Images of physical child abuse are, astoundingly, acceptable, so long as it is not ‘shared with sadism and celebration’ And then the site also allows livestreams of self-harm, under the defense that they don’t want to ‘censor or punish people in distress’ An anonymous source at Facebook argued that it is impossible to keep control of the site’s controversial content, as ‘it has grown too big, too quickly’ But this is little solace to the family of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, who was murdered in April 2017 and the footage streamed online

It remained online for over 2 hours – leading to worldwide criticism of Facebook’s minimal policies NUMBER 1: THE DARK WEB Without a doubt, the most dangerous sites on the Internet are hidden amongst the shadowy labyrinth that is the so-called ‘Dark Web’ The Dark Web is a subsection of the Deep Web – the 99% of the Internet that is inaccessible to conventional search engines It’s difficult to even scratch the surface of the horrors that lurk the Dark Web, but it is known to be a hub for the sale of all sorts of illicit materials For example, drug dealing has always been highly prolific among Dark Web users

Until it was closed by the FBI in 2013 – it was home to an extensive drug market called the Silk Road The Silk Road generated $12 billion in total revenue and has been linked to to at least six overdose fatalities Also for sale on the Dark Web are guns, knives and even hitmen – who you can hire for prices ranging from $10,000 to $200,000 But worse still is the expansion of online pedophillic communities, with sites encouraging users to share images and videos of child pornography and abuse

This kind of material is thought to take up 80% of internet traffic on the Dark Web So that was 10 Most Dangerous Places On The Internet I hope it hasn’t scared you away from going online ever again If you found this video interesting, why not check out 10 Most Dangerous Cults – but be warned, there’s some pretty messed up stuff in there And, as always, make sure you give us a like and subscribe

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