Google's dark web monitoring service will soon be free for users- here's how to use it

Google's dark web monitoring service will soon be free for users- here's how to use it

Artie Beaty/ZDNET

If you’re a Google One subscriber, you probably know that one of the benefits included with your subscription is dark web monitoring (along with additional storage, access to Magic Editor, AI Premium, and more). 

The dark web monitoring feature keeps track of the dark web — sites not indexed by search engines and only accessible via specialized browsers — for personal information such as your Social Security number, address, email, phone number, and birthday. If Google finds your information, you’ll receive an alert and advice on what to do next.

Also: 5 ways to improve your Chrome browser’s security (and why you should)

Since the service’s debut, Google has limited dark web monitoring to customers who pay between $2 and $20 a month depending on their plan. But Google is soon rolling out the service to all its consumer accounts.

First spotted by 9to5Google, subscribers who log in to their Google One accounts have started seeing a message that dark web monitoring is going away in late July with a link to learn more. Clicking the link leads to an explanation from Google that says, “Dark web report will no longer require a Google One membership. All users signed into their Google Accounts can use the feature as it’s made available.”

Dark web monitoring is offered in addition to Google’s “Results about you” page, which lets you find and remove search results that contain your personal contact info. The company’s dark web monitoring is significantly more robust, however, and searches places that  “Results about you” does not.

If for some reason you’d rather not participate, you can delete your profile from the dark web monitoring dashboard.

Also: Cybersecurity 101: Everything on how to protect your privacy and stay safe online

With the retirement of Google One’s VPN last month, you have to wonder if Google has plans to move away from One entirely.

Google didn’t offer an exact date that it would extend the service to all accounts, but given that it’s going dark for One subscribers in late July, that seems like a transition point.

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