Google today announced that all Gmail users in the United States will soon be able to use the dark web reporting security feature to find out if their email address has been found on the dark web.
The company also told the annual Google I/O Developer Conference that the feature will be rolling out over the next few weeks and that access will also be extended to select international markets.
Once activated, it will allow Gmail users to search their email addresses on the dark web and take action to protect their data based on guidance provided by Google.
For example, they will be advised to enable two-step authentication to protect their Google accounts against hacking attempts.
“Previously only available to Google One subscribers in the US, we’re expanding access to our dark web report in the coming weeks, so anyone with a Gmail account in the US can run analytics to see if your Gmail address appears on the dark web and receive advice on what to do to protect yourself”, said Jen Fitzpatrick, Senior Vice President of Google Core Services.
Google will also regularly notify Gmail users to check whether their email has been linked to data breaches that ended up on underground cybercrime forums.
Dark Web Report began to unfold in March 2023 to members of all Google One plans in the United States, providing an easy way to be notified when their personal information has been discovered on the dark web.
“Google One’s dark web report helps you scan the dark web for your personal information – like your name, address, email address, phone number and social security number – and will notify you if found,” said Esteban Kozak, director of product management at Google One. in March when the feature was first announced.
Google One subscribers can activate it by creating a monitoring profile with their information after going to Google One and clicking “Configure > Start monitoring” under “Dark web report”.
The company says that any personal information added to the profile can be removed from the monitoring profile or by deleting the profile in the dark web reporting settings.
At today’s Google I/O, Google also announced an upgrade to the Safe Browsing service to detect and block 25% more phishing attempts on Chrome and Android.
The company also added a new anti-spam view in Google Drive and an easy way to delete search history in Google Maps.
Kozak added that Google One users also see “other related information that may be found in these data breaches” results.
“And if any matching information is found on the dark web, we’ll let you know and provide guidance on how you could protect that information,” Kozak said.