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Cyber Security: The countries MOST interested in the dark web, with expert tips on keeping your data safe

ByEditor

Jan 17, 2023
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Many of us immediately associate the “The Dark Web” with criminal behaviour due to its reputation for suspicious activity and illegal content. From fake passports to stolen data, rumours continue to swirl online about what can truly be accessed on this mysterious area of the internet.

Although the vast majority of people would never intend on visiting the site, for some the dark web is more than just a curiosity; it is something they want to experience for themselves. In fact, it has been reported that 2.5 million users access underground sites every day. But which country is the most interested in the dark web? 

To answer this question, SEO service provider Reboot, used the online analytics tool ads.google.com to discover the number of searches for each country.

We hope you find this release useful. If you do end up using it, we would appreciate a link to https://www.rebootonline.com/ who commissioned the data. 

The countries most interested in the dark web 2023:

Rank Country Searches per

100,000 users

Dark web interest

score (/100)

1 Greece 2,561 97.1
2 Croatia 2,079 94.1
3 Albania 1,818 91.2
4 Czech Republic 1,805 88.2
5 Hungary 1,652 85.3
6 Netherlands 1,605 82.4
7 Slovakia 1,541 79.4
8 Ireland 1,515 76.5
9 Romania 1,489 73.5
10 Portugal 1,379 70.6
11 United States 1,357 67.6
12 Sweden 1,355 64.7
13 United Kingdom 1,350 61.8
14 Estonia 1,342 58.8
15 Belgium 1,302 55.9

*The total search volume data was then weighed against the number of internet users in each country to determine the number of searches per internet user, yielding an overall index score of 100.

For the full data set with all countries analysed, please click here. For images for your use, please click here.

SEO service provider Reboot can reveal that Greece is the country most interested in the dark web as of 2023, scoring 97.1/100 for dark web interest. There were a total of 202,920 online searches last year, with 2,561 of those internet users searching for the dark web in Greece.

Ranking second is Croatia, with a dark web interest score of 94.1. Dark web crimes in Croatia have increased by 31% in recent years, and there were a total of 58,440 online searches in 2022 – with 2,079 internet users in Croatia looking up the dark web throughout 2022.

Albania ranks third, with 1,818 internet users looking up the dark web, giving the country a dark web interest score of 91.2. There were a total of 38,280 searches for dark web-related queries in 2022.

Fourth place is taken by the Czech Republic, with a dark web interest score of 88.2. There has been a total of 150,840 searches for dark web-related terms throughout the last year, equating to around 1,805 internet users searching for the term. 

The experts at Reboot SEO Company shared their tips for trying to keep your data safe:

  • Use a VPN 

A VPN can protect your online activity from corporations, governments, and other prying eyes. By connecting to an external server and adopting its IP address, you can appear to be in the same country as the server you are using. For example, if you are in America and connected to a server in the United Kingdom, the website will believe you are in the United Kingdom. Although a VPN doesn’t make your online activities impossible to track, having that extra layer of protection gives you the best chance of keeping your data safe.

  • Use a free dark web scan

If you suspect that one of your accounts, whether personal, email, or bank, has been compromised, one of the first things you should do is run a free dark web scan. A dark web scan will search the dark web for your personal information among all stolen data lists. A web scan will not reveal the entire amount of stolen information on the dark web, but it will notify you immediately if any of your information is discovered.

  • Use a password manager

Another way to give yourself the best possible chance of protecting your personal information is to change your passwords and use a password manager. Many of us are guilty of using the same password for all of our accounts, but this can lead to your information being more easily accessed. Your passwords for online accounts should all be different, strong, and one-of-a-kind. Your Instagram password, for example, should not be the same as your Amazon or online banking password. Using a password manager is a simple way to avoid this. Password managers generate secure passwords for you, so you never have to worry about forgetting another password again.

  • Enable two-factor authentication

One of the best ways you can try to protect your online accounts from the dark web is to use two-factor authentication. A second authentication step makes it much more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your accounts because it combines two factors as a way of confirming authorization, either your username or password and then your phone number or possibly something physical like a fingerprint. If your username or email address has been compromised, this additional layer of security will protect you even further.

  • Close accounts and report evidence of identity theft

Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the world, with an increasing number of victims each year. It is critical to act quickly if you notice any suspicious transactions on your financial statements or if you receive an email about a login attempt that was not made by you. By closing your account, reporting it to your bank, as well as filing an identity theft report with your relevant governmental authority you can prevent further financial harm.

There is no single solution to data security. True security comes from a combination of the right software tools, increasing your knowledge of cyber threats, and establishing safe online practices. Hackers are constantly devising new and innovative methods of gaining access to your data, which can then be uploaded to the dark web and sold. 

Methodology:

    1. SEO service provider Reboot, sought to determine which country in Europe and the United States has the biggest interest in the dark web in 2023.
    2. Reboot utilised ads.google.com to discover the average amount of monthly google searches in relation to the dark web from Jan 2022-Dec 2022.
    3. The keywords used were ‘Dark web’, ‘How to access the dark web’, ‘Dark web VPN’, ‘Access the dark web’, ‘How to access the dark web safely’, ‘How to get on the dark web’, ‘How to use the dark web’, ‘Dark web access’, ‘Is the dark web illegal’, ‘Is the dark web safe’, ‘Is the dark web dangerous’, ‘What can you find on the dark web’, ‘What can you buy on the dark web’, ‘Who can see I’m on the dark web’, ‘Is the dark web expensive’, ‘What is the dark web’. 
    4. The keywords were also inserted using the local language in each country to obtain more accurate results. 
    5. The total number of monthly searches for the above terms were subsequently collected.
    6. Ukraine and Russia were omitted from the study. Only results over 1,000 were considered, giving a list of 33 countries. 
    7. Search volumes were then weighed against the number of internet users in each country to reveal the number of searches per internet user.
    8. The data was further weighted to establish a score out of 100.
    9. After collecting all of the data, the countries were ranked from the highest number of searches to lowest number of searches, thus creating a list of the countries that are most interested in the dark web. 
  • Data was collected on 10/01/2023, and is accurate as of then.

By Editor