When buying and seeing goods and services on the dark web, one needs to take extra precaution to cover them thoroughly when it comes to security. VPNs, PGPs, Tor and Bitcoin are all de rigueur for keeping oneself protected, along with strong passwords multiple different usernames, and encrypted files.
Due to the illicit nature of dark web marketplaces, they can be breeding grounds for scammers, hackers, and people of questionable reliability, poised to steal either one’s money or one’s identity, or entrap one in a web of extortion.
So how does one stay safe when traversing the dark web market? Choose a marketplace with a good reputation, and multiple security measures in place to protect its users.
Dream Market has a reputation for having high quality buyers and sellers, which no doubt has something to do with the security systems that Dream Market has put in place.
So what just are their security features?
All transactions conducted on the Dream Market marketplace involve an exchange of Bitcoins. The cryptocurrency, with careful user behavior, provides anonymity to people using it. Transactions cannot be traced back to a user, unlike, for instance, credit card transactions, which are linked to a name.
An escrow system is put in place by Dream Market to prevent sellers running off with buyers’ funds before delivery of goods, and buyers from running off with a seller’s goods before payment of monies.
Once an item is ordered, a buyer sends Bitcoin to Dream Market to pay for it. The seller sees that the buyer has paid and ships the item. Once the buyer receives the item and is happy, the funds are released from Dream Market to the seller. In this way, buyers and sellers can both be assured that their Bitcoins won’t be stolen.
Dual rating system
Darknet markets operate much in the same way that eBay does: each buyer provides a rating for a seller after their transaction is complete, and each seller also similarly rates the buyer. This provides feedback for users that haven’t interacted with each other before. A seller with low ratings may provide low quality or counterfeit goods, or even non-security conscious packaging.
Dream Market has a very handy PGP login. PGP logins are essential for more secure transmissions over the dark web. User will need to make a PGP key to store on Dream Market and use for logging in. When using PGP login, Dream Market will send user an encrypted message that user will need to decrypt as well as entering password. This will make user’s Dream Market account much more secure than a password alone.
Captcha code on login
User might notice when one go to enter the Dream Market site that a Captcha box appears. This clever little code is used to prevent brute force user account hacking. It may be annoying to fill in every time, but it’s there to prevent user from getting one’s account stolen.
PIN password recovery
We all forget our passwords from time to time – because we now have to remember so many of them! Dream Market has attempted to help users out who have forgotten their passwords by using a PIN (enabled at sign-up time) to recover them. This is instead of using questions like ‘Mother’s maiden name’ and ‘first pet’, which can be elicited from people easily with a little bit of social engineering. Just don’t make your PIN your birthday!
The administrators of Dream Market appear to do a fairly good job. If users have an issue with any transaction, all they have to do is open a support ticket to have the matter addressed by the admin team. The team will attempt to solve users’ issues in a timely manner.
When users are buying and selling on the dark web they will also need to keep their wits about them. Here are a few more tips on how to stay safe:
- Search for any mention of users on forums first before entering into first transaction with them.
- Don’t click on links in random messages sent to you in the marketplace.
- Verify any messages from the market themselves have the correct return address.
- Always make sure that you’ve got the correct Dream Market .onion web address.
- Avoid any vendors asking to finalize early (FE – no escrow) that you don’t already know and trust.