Google expands dark web reporting service to US Gmail users
Google LLC is expanding its “dark web” reporting service to all Gmail users in the U.S. amid other new online safety features announced at its annual I/O conference today in Mountain View, California.
The service was first announced for Google One subscribers in March and generates a report identifying stolen information listed on hacking sites and marketplaces on the dark web, a shady part of the internet reachable with special software. If any matching information is found on the dark web, the service provides guidance to users on how they might protect that information.
In one example given in March, if a user’s Social Security number were found on the dark web, the service might suggest it’s reported as stolen to the government and provide the steps required for a user to protect the person’s credit.
As the service is rolled out to Gmail, users can run scans to see if their email address appears on the dark web and receive guidance on actions, such as implementing multifactor authentication to protect their accounts. The service will also remind Gmail users to check if their email has been linked to any data breaches that have ended up on ransomware leak sites or other nefarious sites on the dark web.
The dark web reporting service will be rolled out to Gmail users in the U.S. in the coming weeks, with access being expanded to select international markets “soon.”
Other security announcements at Google I/O include a new Safe Browsing application programming interface. The company says the new API speeds up Google’s ability to check and identify compromised sites, catching more attacks and blocking an additional 25% of phishing attempts every month in Chrome and Android.
Google also announced enhanced spam protection in Google Drive with a new view that makes it easier to separate and review files, including the ability to decide what files may be spam to stay safe from potential unwanted or abusive content.
Android users were not ignored on the security front, as Google announced updates in Android 14 to improve transparency around how apps use data. With the update, users will be informed in permission requests when an app shares information with third parties for advertising purposes, giving them the ability to approve or decline location sharing for each app.
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