Google is rolling out a free dark web monitoring service for all consumer account holders starting this month. This feature, previously available only to Google One members, alerts users if their personal information appears on the dark web.

To use this service, visit Google’s “Results about you” page, which already allows users to set up alerts if their personal details appear in search results. The new dark web monitoring feature will notify you via email or smartphone alerts if your information, such as your address, phone number, or email, is found in dark web data dumps.

The dark web, a hidden part of the internet accessed through specialized browsers, is notorious for illegal activities, including the sale of stolen personal data. Most people are unaware of how to navigate this shadowy part of the web, making Google’s service particularly valuable.

While receiving an alert about your data on the dark web is crucial, it’s essential to take protective actions, such as changing passwords and freezing credit, since Google cannot remove your information from third-party sites or hacker listings.

Identity theft is a growing issue, with the Identity Theft Resource Center’s (ITRC) 2023 report showing a 118% rise in job scams and Google Voice scams leading the list of identity crimes. Though fewer victims reported incidents, the impact on individuals and businesses has intensified.