Google offers Dark Web monitoring for US Gmail users

Google said that with its dark web monitoring feature, not only will users be able to check their email addresses on the dark web, but they will also receive advice on improving their online security.

Google has added the dark web report security feature to its security tools. This feature is offered to all Gmail users in the USA, using which they can check if their email address is published on the dark web.

The search engine giant will soon expand this feature to selected foreign markets. Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s core services SVP, stated that since March 2023, this feature was available only to Google One subscribers in the US, and now its scope is being expanded.

“Previously only available to Google One subscribers in the US, we’re expanding access to our dark web report in the next few weeks, so anyone with a Gmail account in the US will be able to run scans to see if your Gmail address appears on the dark web and receive guidance on what actions to take to protect yourself.”

Image: Google

How Will it Improve Data Protection?

As far as the new dark web monitoring feature is concerned, Google has explained that not only will users be able to check their email addresses on the dark web but will also receive advice on improving their online security. Chrome browser already features a built-in password manager, which helps them keep their data protected.

Using this feature, Gmail users can take their data protection a step ahead with guidance from Google, such as enabling 2FA protection to prevent their accounts from hijacking.

Moreover, Google will notify Gmail users whenever they need to check if their email address is part of any data breaches and may end up on the dark web. This data can end up on the dark web through data breaches suffered by platforms or services a user has subscribed for. It is then sold to cybercriminals who use it for conducting identity theft, phishing scams, and banking fraud.

What Information can be Checked?

According to Google, the report generated through this feature will inform the user about the presence of their personal data such as their name, email address, physical address, contact information, and Social Security Number.

The user will be promptly notified if the data is found. If you are a Google One subscriber, you can enable this feature after creating a monitoring profile and clicking Setup> Dark Web Report> Start monitoring.

When was it Announced?

The new feature was announced at the Google I/O annual developer conference and will be rolled out within a few weeks. At the conference, the company also confirmed introducing many new security features to improve its products and services protections. This includes adding spam protection to Google Drive and allowing users to delete search history in Google Maps.

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