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What the free Google Dark Web report reveals about you


Google reveals how much of your personal information has been leaked online


Google has made its Dark Web Report available to hundreds of millions of users with free Google accounts, allowing them to quickly find out where their personal data has been leaked online.

Until now, Google's Dark Web Report was only available to customers who paid for a Google One account, but starting later this month, Google will be making the service available to anyone with a Google account, whether they pay or not.

This means that hundreds of millions of people would be alerted if a data breach exposed sensitive data like email addresses, dates of birth, or passwords.

The types of information that may be revealed about you in your reports include:

How the Google Dark Web Report works

To find out if your information has been included in a data leak, you first need to create what Google calls a monitoring profile.

By default, this includes your name, date of birth, and Gmail address. Google also allows you to add other information to your monitoring profile, such as your zip code, additional email addresses, and phone numbers.

Once this information is entered, Google will search for matches within data published on the dark web as a result of data breaches.

As you can see below, you'll instantly see an overview of how many data breaches your details were included in and what type of information was leaked.

Google reveals how many times personal data has been leaked

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Click on each category to see which leaks contained personal information.

For example, the screenshot below outlines the information collected about me as part of the MGM data breach that was exposed last year.

Dark Web Report reveals what details were leaked in each attack

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That information isn't always accurate or up-to-date, and Google hides some of the details.

How to use the Google Dark Web Report

In truth, there's not much you can do if the Google Dark Web Report reveals that the attack has exposed details like your postcode and date of birth. While moving house just because your address was leaked would be pretty extreme, it's not like you can change your date of birth.

You can change your email address. Some privacy-conscious people change their email addresses periodically to improve security and reduce spam. However, given that so many online accounts are tied to an email address, updating your accounts to a new address requires at least some administrative effort.

It's wise to use a portable webmail account when signing up for everyday web services that require an email address, and a more permanent address (such as one linked to a domain you own) for more sensitive accounts like online banking or government websites.

A big issue that needs immediate attention is passwords. If the Google Dark Web Report reveals that your passwords have been leaked in an attack, you can click to see exactly which passwords were exposed. For security reasons, Google only releases a few characters from leaked passwords, but this should be enough to see if it was a password you used regularly, or (even worse) across multiple sites.

Any passwords that have been leaked should always be changed immediately, and we strongly recommend using a password manager such as the free Bitwarden to ensure you use strong, unique passwords on every site you sign up to, so that even if one site's password is leaked, the damage will be limited.

How to get the Google Dark Web Report

According to a Google support page, Dark Web Reporting will be available to all users with consumer Google accounts starting in late July.

It's not yet clear where it will appear, but Google[マイ アカウント]You may want to check the security section of the page.




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