Google Is Bringing Its 'Dark Web Reporting' Feature Free For All Users

You are monitoring the dark web

The surface web is where most of the known internet are. The dark web, is where things get dark, and sinister.

Google is known for not venturing to the dark web, due to the technical challenges that aren't friendly for its search engine and its crawlers, and being not beneficial for its primary business model, which revolves around indexing and making the web accessible to users and advertisers.

So here, there is a reason why the dark web is "dark."

The thing is, the dark web is where people are hiding behind the anonymity of the Tor network to conduct illegal businesses, which include buying and selling user data.

This happens all the time, and hackers thrive on the dark web because of this.

Google has what it calls the 'dark web reporting' tool, and this time, it's making the tool free for all.

Dark web reports are only available to those with a Google One membership or subscription.

The feature works with Google periodically checking data associated with the user's email address or other information, including their name, phone number, address, username, password or social security number, against known data breaches and leaks.

According to its official documentation, users of Google One that have set up their profile, will have Google to automatically monitor the dark web, and make users aware when their personal data has been found in data breaches or leaks.

This should enable users to keep a check on the emergence of their data on the dark web which could prove to be potentially harmful.

If ever Google finds data that matches users' data, the report can help users make decisions about how to best protect their data.

"Results about you" lets users find and request the removal of search results that contain their personal information or data, while "Dark web report" monitors parts of the web that are ordinarily hard to access for leaks of their personal information including name, address, phone number, and email.

Google said that this is a "combined solution" to "help users protect their online presence."

And this time, Google is making this feature free for all users.

You are monitoring the dark web

The idea is to help all Google users, not just paying users, to know first hand, when their data is being commoditized.

By bring the feature to all users, the Google One app has include a message that tells users that the dark web report feature shall no longer be a part of a Google One subscription starting in late July.

It also includes a link to a support document that states "dark web report will become available to all users with a consumer Google Account."

"Dark web report will no longer be available in Google One in late July. To continue using the dark web report, learn more in the help article," the pop-up says.

It's worth noting that the feature is not available to users with Google Workspace or supervised accounts.

Published: 
10/07/2024