Google Broadens Dark Web Monitoring To Track All Gmail Users

By   Olivia William
Writer , Information Security Buzz | May 10, 2023 09:44 pm PST

Gmail users now have access to Google’s free dark web monitoring service, which can detect if their email is being shared on hacking forums. Google One, the search giant’s paid subscription service in the United States, already has a dark web surveillance option for paying subscribers.

But at Google I/O 2018, the firm announced that all Gmail users will now receive free security monitoring.  The tool may alert you when your Gmail address is posted on the dark web, but it does not appear to monitor other forms of personally identifiable information. 

Google has announced that in the coming weeks, anyone with a Gmail account in the United States will be able to conduct proper verification to view if their Gmail address shows on the dark web and get advice on how to stay safe.

Google Maps is the target of another privacy-related update that was unveiled at I/O. It’s not always easy to clear your app’s search history. Therefore, Google is planning to implement a one-tap solution. 

At the moment, your Maps search history can be cleared off through Web & App Activity. We’re making it even simpler by allowing you to wipe your recent Maps searches with a single press. The business claims that if you’ve just searched for a retailer to buy a surprise gift, for example, you can easily erase that search from your history. 

The second big news is that apps that request permission to access your location will be able to receive a warning from Google’s Android operating system. Android 14 will have this change and will be released later this year. 

You may use this data to make an informed decision about whether or not to allow each app to share your location, giving you complete freedom over your data. A new “Data deletion” section has been added to each app’s Google Play Data safety page, making it simple to request that your account and all associated data be deleted.

More Google Security Features Added

About This Image

“About This Image,” one of Google’s most intriguing new features, helps consumers identify deception or digitally manipulated/AI-generated content online. The feature—shown in the animation above—provides annotations and links to news sites to provide context for an image. About This Image tells users when an image was initially indexed in Google’s search engine and whether journalists have written about it or tweeted about it. To avoid fake news, the function appears to contextualize photos.

Safe Browsing

Google’s new Safe Browsing API warns users about harmful websites and malware-infected files. The new and updated API “speeds up our ability to check and identify compromised sites, catching even more attacks and blocking an additional millions of phishing attempts every month in Chrome and Android,” according to Google. Safe Browsing employs AI to do this.

Tracking the Deep Web with Google’s Pixel

A Google One subscription will allow you to monitor the dark web in greater detail, including checking to see if your Social Security information has fallen into the wrong hands. However, the corporation already sends out alerts to customers whose Google passwords have been compromised. In addition, the tech giant has a free “Password Checkup” feature that will analyze your Google Password Manager credentials and alert you to any that may have been leaked, are vulnerable, or are used across multiple accounts.”

Dark Web scans

Google also unveiled dark web scans, which will let users check if their Gmail ID has appeared in the dark web. This function was exclusively available to Google One subscribers. However, all Gmail users will have access within weeks. Scans can tell consumers if their data has been compromised or sold on a shady dark web market.

New Google Play Data Controls

Google announced new Play Store data transparency restrictions on Wednesday. Android 14 will improve app permissions notifications. Google appears to be giving consumers more control over app permissions, which can be excessive. The new settings will notify users when an app requests permission to share their location data with a third party for advertising. Google has also included a “Data deletion” feature to apps’ Google Play Data safety section, allowing users to request app data or account deletion.


Google’s passkeys, unveiled last week, are another promising security feature. Passkeys, which replace passwords, are unique cryptographic keys saved locally on a user’s device and can be combined with a biometric identification to secure an account. Google accounts still have passwords, but the company hopes to replace them with passkeys, which it considers more secure.


Google stated today that all US Gmail users would soon be able to utilize the dark web monitoring tool to check if their email address is on the dark web. In the event of Google I/O annual developer conference, the company announced the functionality would roll out over the next weeks and be available in select international regions.

Once enabled, Gmail users can scan the dark web for their email addresses and execute Google-recommended data protection measures. To prevent Google account hijacking, they’ll be advised to enable two-step authentication. According to Google Core services SVP Jen Fitzpatrick, U.S. Gmail users will be able to run dark web scans and obtain protection advice in the coming weeks. Google additional will also routinely warn Gmail users to verify if their email was linked to data breaches on underground cybercrime forums.

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