Previously, only Google One subscribers who paid for the 2TB plan could access a VPN service that ensured better online security and privacy. However, Google announced today that this tool is becoming available to all paid tiers for the service in the U.S. at no additional cost!
The decision to expand its VPN to everyone signed up is a welcome one as it gives users more flexibility and value for the monthly cost they’re shelling out. Here’s how it works – you connect the VPN to your device (yes, Chromebooks are included!) through a secure, encrypted tunnel, and your online presence is better protected from prying eyes.
Google is also introducing a new tool called “Dark web reports” to help prevent online identity fraud. This tool alerts users if their personal information appears on the dark web, which is a hidden part of the internet that requires the use of the Tor browser to access (This is not to be confused with the deep web!). Criminals and hackers often use the dark web to sell stolen data, including credit card and social security numbers, as well as other sensitive information.
I didn’t expect Google to add this to One, but it’s a pleasant surprise. Users who set this up will gain an added layer of protection against online identity theft, and the dark web itself is something most average users simply aren’t aware of. The tool, which is rolling out over the next few weeks to all paid tiers as well, monitors personal information such as your name, address, email address, phone number, and social security number. If any of this information is, in fact, found on the dark web, you’ll get a notification via a new “Monitoring profile (see above)”. Google will then suggest steps you can take to report the incident to the government and protect your credit, privacy, etc.