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How to stay safe on the Dark Web

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The Onion Router (Tor) network or the dark web allows users to access Internet sites that would normally be censored. Doing this though does come with its perils. NordVPN gives advice on how to use the Tor network safely.

The Tor (The Onion Router) network is also called a “dark web” since it provides access to completely uncensored online experience. Tor keeps growing in popularity with an estimated 2,5-million users daily, with over 1-million per month using it to access Facebook alone.

Although many government leaders have expressed their concerns over Tor’s existence, some acknowledge that it would be “technically impossible” to shut down. It is the ultimate expression of Internet freedom, and besides a small percentage of people using it for illegal activity, Tor Network is widely used by whistleblowers, activists, human rights fighters and journalists, and is easily accessible by simply downloading Onion browser.

Tor allows accessing uncensored Internet in countries where it¹s censored ­ for example, in Iran, where Facebook is blocked.

While the dark web is easy to use, its users should take special precautions to keep their identity and activity safe, since it¹s a completely unregulated online browsing experience. When people access Onion websites, they should be careful not to fall victim to some attractive offers they can find there, as they can never be sure who is on the other side of the line.

The same rules apply to Tor Network safety as any other Internet marketplace /network: for example, not volunteering personal information, and avoiding deals that look too good to be true. Users should always have VPN turned on when surfing the dark net in order to protect their information, and should delete/ disable cookies after each session.

NordVPN, a VPN service provider, offers a special Tor over VPN feature, which makes users¹ browsing activity completely safe.

When using TOR over VPN solution, user’s data first goes to NordVPN server where it gets encrypted. Then the data travels to TOR Network where the data packets are randomly transmitted to multiple servers inside the TOR network and the data is encrypted again and sent out through different TOR exit nodes. After all this process, the request reaches the Internet.

Basically, it’s such a safe privacy tool because user’s online activity becomes routed into an encrypted tunnel, and their IP address is not an exit node anymore – it¹s NordVPN¹s server that becomes the exit node. Tor over VPN feature by NordVPN is very user friendly and easy to configure – the user doesn¹t have to do much in order to access Onion websites – one click of a button will get them there.

When precaution becomes priority, then users can take advantage of all that Tor has to offer, for example, Wiki Leaks, CircleServices, TorPM, hidden search engines, and more. Tor can also protect user¹s anonymity from marketers, hackers or identity thieves. The network helps out activists report from abroad on bad labor practices or share sensitive information, and helps journalists write from countries where content is blocked.

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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