Google, the global search engine giant, has announce bringing the Dark Web Monitoring feature to all Gmail users. It is for United States. This move will enable users, whether they’re subscribe to Google One or not. It is to discover if their email address is on the dark web. The company made the announcement at the Google I/O annual developer conference. This was stating that the feature rollout will occur gradually over the coming weeks. The eventual access would also be expand to select international markets.
Dark Web Monitoring for Gmail Users
The feature allows Gmail users to scan the dark web for their email addresses. After which they can take action to protect their data, based on guidance provided by Google. Once users enable the feature, they’ll be advised to turn on two-step authentication. This is to protect their Google accounts from hijacking attempts. According to Google’s Core Services SVP, Jen Fitzpatrick, access to the dark web report will be expand to all Gmail account holders in US. This is not just Google One subscribers.
“Previously only available to Google One subscribers in the U.S., we’re expanding access to our dark web report in the next few weeks, so anyone with a Gmail account in the U.S. 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,” said Fitzpatrick.
Google will also notify Gmail users regularly to check if their email has been linked to any data breaches that ended up on underground cybercrime forums. It is a significant feature that allows users to protect their personal information from cybercriminals who could potentially harm their online credentials.
Google One’s Dark Web Report
According to Google, the Dark Web Report started rolling out in March 2023. It is for members across all Google One plans in the United States. It provides users with a simple way to get notification when their personal information is on the dark web. Google One Director of Product Management, Esteban Kozak, announced the feature at the time of rollout.
“Google One’s dark web report helps you scan the dark web. It is for your personal info — like your name, address, email, phone number, and Social Security number. And it will notify you,” said Kozak in March.
Google One subscribers can enable the feature by creating a monitoring profile. It can be done with their information after clicking “Set up > Start monitoring” under “Dark web report” on Google One. Additionally, users can delete all personal information added to the profile from the monitoring profile. Or they can do it by removing the profile in the dark web report settings.
Upgraded Safe Browsing Service
Google also announced at Google I/O that it upgraded the Safe Browsing service to catch and block 25% more phishing attempts on Chrome and Android. Furthermore, the company has added a new spam view in Google Drive, enabling users to prevent spammers from reading their files. Google also launches a simple way to delete search history in Google Maps.
Users are also shown results “other relates info that may be found in those data breaches.” Google One users that might have matching information on the dark web will be notified, and guidance will be provided on how to protect that information,” added Kozak.
The rise of cybercrime has prompted Google to offer innovative tools and features to protect its users from malicious cyber activities, and the inclusion of Dark Web Monitoring in Gmail is a significant step forward. Users are encouraged to enable this feature on their accounts to safeguard their online credentials.