Illegal websites do exist, but finding one can be very hard since the webmasters use domain blocking software and rerouting techniques to hide their sites from the authorities and others looking to shut them down. LoveToKnow doesn't condone visiting or creating an illegal website, so this article won't tell you where to find them or how to bypass various security measures. Instead, you'll learn the types of websites to look out for and how to protect yourself if you accidentally encounter one.
Types of Illegal Websites
While many countries can detect and eliminate illegal websites rather quickly, the can pop up just as quickly. The two most banned types of websites are pornography and torrent sites. Governments typically go the legal route with torrent sites because there is a fine line in most laws around the world in considering torrent sites illegal. The basic rule of thumb for those seeking to shut down illegal websites is if people are downloading content like music and movies without the original owner's permission, then they are breaking the law.
Pornography sites can be illegal depending on the jurisdiction of the government in the country where they originate. Child pornography websites are illegal in most countries and while non-child pornography is legal in most countries, India and Singapore block access to Internet pornography websites. Some countries have laws against pornography but rarely enforce it, so you should be careful when visiting sites from other countries.
Other types of illegal websites include sites that sell and buy stolen goods, sites that pose as legitimate sites to extract information from users and sites that try to extort merchandise or money from individuals.
Don't be scared about surfing the Internet because there are illegal websites sitting out there ready to pounce on you at any moment. That's not entirely true. First, you usually have to go in search of these websites in order to access them. Second, once you reach a website that's illegal, you usually have to have an account with them. This means they don't just let any old web surfer have access. Users need to give the webmasters vital information in order to sign onto the site and if there's one thing you don't want to do, it's give someone who runs an illegal website your personal information.
So how can you protect yourself? Make sure you have a comprehensive virus protection program installed on your computer. Most anti-virus and anti-spyware programs also scan e-mail and websites and report malicious websites to you and the makers of the software. Popular virus protection software includes some of the following:
- Norton 360
- Trend Micro Platinum
Whichever program you install, make sure it is up-to-date and set for the program to automatically update the software so you don't have to worry about it.For added protection use a web browser that detects malicious sites. When you type an address or click on a link, the browser checks the link against a databases of "blacklisted" sites as well as the main code for the domain. If it is in the database or the code resembles anything that can harm your computer, then the browser informs you. Popular web browsers that perform this function include:
- Microsoft Internet Explorer
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
The best way to keep yourself protected is to simply refrain from going to any of the types of illegal websites on the Internet. It may be funny to read such a statement, but it's human nature to get curious. No matter what site someone wants you to visit or what picture they want you to see, a "no" is the best protection you have against websites that are illegal and may cause damage to your computer.