Prior to this change, only Google One subscribers who paid for the 2TB plan had access to a VPN service that enhanced online security and privacy. Today, Google announced that this tool will be made available to all paid service tiers in the United States at no additional cost!
The company’s decision to make its VPN available to all subscribers is a welcome one, as it gives users more flexibility and value for the monthly fee they pay. Your online presence is better protected from prying eyes when you connect the VPN to your device (yes, Chromebooks are included!) through a secure, encrypted tunnel.
Google is also launching a new tool called “Dark web reports” to combat online identity theft. This tool notifies users if their personal information appears on the dark web, a portion of the internet that requires the Tor browser to access (this is not the deep web!). Criminals and hackers frequently use the dark web to sell stolen information, such as credit card and social security numbers, as well as other sensitive data.
Google’s addition of this feature to One is a pleasant surprise. Users who configure this will receive an additional layer of protection against online identity theft, and the dark web is something of which most average users are unaware. Personal information such as your name, address, email address, phone number, and social security number are monitored by the tool, which will be available to all paid tiers within the next few weeks. If any of this information is discovered on the dark web, you will receive an alert via a new “Monitoring profile” (see above). Google will then recommend actions you can take to notify the government and protect your credit, privacy, etc.
According to Google’s privacy policies, you can delete information from your profile and stop monitoring at any time once the dark web reports tool is released. These two updates to Google One are a step in the right direction towards a safer and more secure online experience, particularly for users with less technical expertise. I want to hear from you in the comments section – do you find Google’s dark web scans interesting? Will you use this at all, or are you using a free tool comparable to Experian’s?