A new security feature coming to Google accounts can notify you if your email address has been published on the dark web. At Google I/O today, the search giant announced plans to roll out several new security features designed to better protect users of Google products and services, including spam protections for Google Drive and improved deletion of Maps search history.
The company is expanding its “dark web report” feature to all Gmail accounts in the US in the coming weeks, which scans to see if your Gmail address appears on the dark web and advises on steps users can take to strengthen their online security. The password manager built into the Chrome browser already does a pretty good job of nagging you to keep your data protected, but it goes a step further.
Personal information such as email addresses can find its way onto the dark web as a result of data breaches on services and platforms you may sign up for. This information can be sold and used by cybercriminals in a variety of ways, including identity theft, banking fraud, and phishing scams.
Google’s dark web reporting tool isn’t a new feature, but it was previously only available to people in the US who subscribed to Google One, the company’s expanded Cloud storage platform. Google also said the tool will eventually be available in “select international markets,” though it didn’t specify which countries would gain access.
The spam protections normally found in Gmail are now being extended to Google Drive, with a new view being rolled out designed to help users control what they want to designate as spam. Drive will automatically classify obvious offenders in the spam view to prevent users from accidentally accessing any “undesirable or abusive content.” Google didn’t provide an example of what this new view will look like, but it says it makes it easier to separate and analyze files.
Deleting Google Maps search history also becomes easier. You can already clear your search history through the “Web & App Activity” tab within your account settings, but now Google is adding the ability to delete recent searches directly in Maps to one tap. There is currently no word on what regions will receive the new feature.
Finally, Google also strengthens the security services used by other platforms and organizations. Google’s Content Safety API, used by companies like Facebook and Yubo to identify and remove child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from the web, has now been expanded to include video content. This is something that used to be managed by CSAI Match, YouTube’s proprietary technology for detecting CSAM in online videos. Google did not mention whether the new video API functionality replaces CSAI Match or how the two services differ.
Google didn’t provide an exact release date for many of these features, so we’ve asked for clarification and will update this story if we hear back. There are a few other announcements coming out of Google I/O today that are worth checking out for now, including a host of new AI-powered features for Search and 3D routes for Google Maps.