Google One is adding a new cyber surveillance feature that will allow users to monitor the dark web to see if their personal details have been included in a data breach.

The new feature, launched this week, will roll out to all Google One subscribers in the US, at no extra cost, as part of Google’s virtual personal network —VPN by Google One.

Google One VPN launched in late 2020, but was restricted to US subscribers on Android, with a minimum of 2TB storage. As of today, the virtual private network will be available to all Google One subscribers – plus five other people on your Google One plan, in 22 countries on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac.

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What Is Google One VPN?

Google One VPN, known as ‘VPN by Google One’ is Google’s first virtual private network – a security measure designed to hide a user’s IP address, to prevent websites from collecting their data, tracking their location and monitoring their internet activity.

Before yesterday’s announcement, Google VPN was only available on Google One Premium 2TB plans, at an annual cost of $99.99. As of today, the VPN will be available on all Google One plans with 100GB Basic, from $1.99 per month.

With data breaches on the rise, and the VPN market becoming heavily competitive, Google needed to expand its offering in order to capitalize on the grow in demand. With 90% of businesses concerned about cyber security resilience, dark web surveillance may be the feature Google One users need to feel better protected.

How Does Google One’s VPN Dark Web Report Feature Work?

The Google One VPN dark web report is a new feature  that will allow all eligible users to scan the dark web for personal details to check if their information has been included in a data breach. The feature works by searching for personal details online like social security numbers, name, address, email and phone numbers – and notifying the user if their details have been found.

Online identity fraud due to information stolen through data breaches is an increasing problem that affects millions of people every year. A lot of this stolen info can be found on the dark web, a hard-to-reach part of the internet that requires a specialized browser to access and isn’t indexed by search engines.

According to Google, when users first enable the dark web report, they’ll be required to select and provide the information that they’d like to monitor on their your ‘monitoring profile’. If any information is found on the dark web, the user will be notified and given guidance on how to respond and best protect their information.

In addition to flagging dark web personal information, the report will also show related information that could be found in data breaches. While some users may be wary, Google assures that all information entered into the monitoring profile will be handled according to Google’s privacy policy, giving users the ability to delete or stop monitoring the information on their profile at any time.

Is Google One VPN Worth It?

If you’re a Google One subscriber in the US, the upgraded VPN will be a welcome addition to your toolkit – but as far as VPN’s go, Google One is about as trustworthy as any other VPN on the market. That said, with the VPN now available with plans from $1.99 per month, it will be certainly be one of the cheapest VPNs.

There are plenty of VPN options out there. The safest, according to our research, is NordVPN, but you can see how it compares to other top providers in our guide to the most secure VPNs in 2023 to make your own decision.

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