Google announced today that all Gmail users in the United States will soon be able to use the dark web report security feature to discover if their email address has been found on the dark web.
The company also said at the Google I/O annual developer conference that the feature will roll out over the coming weeks, and access will also be expanded to select international markets.
Once enabled, it will allow Gmail users to scan the dark web for their email addresses and take action to protect their data based on guidance provided by Google.
For instance, they’ll be advised to turn on two-step authentication to protect their Google accounts from hijacking attempts.
“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 Google Core services SVP Jen Fitzpatrick.
Google will also regularly notify Gmail users to check if their email has been linked to any data breaches that ended up on underground cybercrime forums.
Dark web report started rolling out in March 2023 to members across all Google One plans in the United States, providing a simple way to get notified when their personal information was discovered on the dark web.
“Google One’s dark web report helps you scan the dark web for your personal info — like your name, address, email, phone number and Social Security number — and will notify you if it’s found,” said Google One Director of Product Management Esteban Kozak in March when the feature was first announced.
Google One subscribers can enable it by creating a monitoring profile with their info after going to Google One and clicking “Set up > Start monitoring” under “Dark web report.”
The company says all the personal info added to the profile can be deleted from the monitoring profile or by removing the profile in the dark web report settings.
At Google I/O today, Google also announced that it upgraded the Safe Browsing service to catch and block 25% more phishing attempts on Chrome and Android.
The company has also added a new spam view in Google Drive and a simple way to delete search history in Google Maps.
Kozak added that Google One users are also shown results “other related info that may be found in those data breaches.”
“And if any matching info is found on the dark web, we’ll notify you and provide guidance on how you might protect that information,” Kozak said.