Google Makes Dark Web Monitoring Free for Everyone

Google Makes Dark Web Monitoring Free for Everyone

Now, anyone with a Google account can access the company's dark web tracking tool.

Google said its dark web monitoring service will be made free to anyone with a Google account starting this month, giving away automated tools to help people detect when their personal information leaks on the web, and remove it from search results.

The tech giant's dark web tracking tools used to be available only to Google One account holders. Google One users pay monthly subscriptions of up to $20 for additional features, like access to advanced AI technologies as well as more email and document storage.

The dark web is internet shorthand for a network of sites that are typically accessed using special software, such as the anonymizing web service Tor. Criminals often use these services to sell illicit items, such as data stolen in a cyberattack. So many hacks have happened over the years that it's very likely your and my personal information has been stolen and traded many times over. Still, in the wrong hands, an important password, social security number or list of family members' names can be used in all sorts of fraud, from breaking into bank accounts to scouring work emails for trade secrets. Hackers sometimes use this information to open bank accounts and take out loans under other people's names, effectively taking the money and then sticking the victims with the bill.

Read more:Your Personal Data May Be on the Dark Web

To access Google's free dark web reporting tools, go to Google's results about you page and click the Get started button. Google will ask for your name, address, email, phone number and other information you'd want to track. Google says it does not share or use this information in its other products.

You can remove your information from Google's systems by clicking on the Settings link on the results about you page, and tapping the trashcan icon or words remove all contact info at the bottom of the screen.

Google's free dark web monitoring tool is another example of how tech companies are attempting to help consumers respond and fight back against the hacking attacks and information leaks that have become a regular part of life on the internet.

Read more: Your Digital Footprint: It's Bigger Than You Realize

Aside from paid subscription options, one of the most popular alternatives to Google's dark web tracking tools is the free Have I Been Pwned service, which tracks email addresses, passwords and phone numbers that hackers trade on the dark web. Others, such as Intuit's Credit Karma, offer identity tracking in exchange for affiliate ads.

Google's free tool goes a step further, offering people a button on the results about you page to request Google remove their personal information from search results as well.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/technology/google-makes-dark-web-monitoring-free-for-everyone/ar-BB1pLahj?ocid=00000000

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