Set a reminder: In just a few weeks, Google will introduce a feature that allows you to inquire if your email address is being utilized as a form of currency on the “dark web.” Previously, this service was exclusive to Google One subscribers who paid for enhanced security measures.
However, it will now be accessible to all Gmail users. The “dark web” refers to a network of servers that intentionally evade public registration with search engines, aiming to remain hidden from legal scrutiny. The dark web, also known as Darknet , emerged several years ago when researchers began exploring the depths of the internet. While the dark web has some important and positive applications, such as providing a platform for free expression in repressive regimes, it also serves as a hub for illegal activities including drug and weapon sales. Additionally, hackers and criminals trade stolen personal information obtained through security breaches. It is in this context that Google’s privacy feature becomes significant.
Google actively monitors the dark web in an effort to safeguard its users. Although not flawless, if Google detects that your email address, which often serves as your login credentials for various websites, has been compromised, it indicates a potential breach of your email, Google account, or one of the sites you are signed in to. In such cases, Google will flag your email and send you a notification to alert you of the situation.
While the exact mechanics of this detection system remain undisclosed, it is likely to operate similarly to the privacy checkups provided by Google and Microsoft. These checkups prompt users to review their personal information periodically, including passwords that may have been compromised in privacy breaches. It serves as a valuable tool to assess whether your password has been stolen (fave.co/3cgALrU).
During the Google I/O developer conference, Google introduced several other privacy initiatives:
- Enhanced spam protections in Google Drive to assist in identifying files that you may have saved unintentionally.
- Location alerts on your phone, notifying you when an app requests access to your location.
- A new option for data deletion within Google Play, providing users with more control over their stored data.
These measures highlight Google’s commitment to maintaining user privacy and security.