What is Doxxing and How to Prevent It?

What is Doxxing?

Doxxing, likewise spelled “doxing,” alludes to the act of utilizing the Internet to source out and gather somebody’s personal and private data and afterward openly discharging that data on the web online. It is derived from the word “documents”, the term is a contracted adaptation of “dropping dox,” a technique for vengeance. When you “doxx” someone, you are documenting their private information.

Be that as it may, doxxing takes things a lot farther than a guiltless quest for contact data. People who carry out doxxing are called as “Doxxers”. Like data fraud, doxxing for the most part requires a touch of corrupt examination with respect to the individual uncovering the information, for example following the victim’s online life. Doxxing just takes cyberbullying and hacking to the next level.

Definition: Search for and publish private or identifying information about (a particular individual) on the Internet, typically with malicious intent.

Different reasons why Doxxing can be carried out?

Following reasons:
  • Bullying / Harassment
  • Extortion
  • Revenge
  • Vigilante
  • Hacking
  • Retribution
  • Pranking

Appropriately, the casualties are regularly journalists, politicians, celebrities, or prominent personalities. But it could also be trouble for common people like you and me.

Doxxers would prefer not to get rich or even famous at times. They just want the victim to suffer and be harmed publicly. Indeed, even with simply the distribution of their personal or private information, the victim begins to feel pressurized and harmed. Doxxers do not worry about the law. They try to go to all illegal means to see the victim suffer. At any rate, the doxxers might want to scare the victim to the limit that they quit showing up out in the open. Hence no one wants to get doxxed or hacked ever.

Is Doxxing illegal?

Doxxing can be used for good or bad. If a doxxer or a hacker uses your information that is available online in a positive way then it is legal and ethical. There will be no actions taken against them. But if it is used in a negative way to harm or cause harassment to the victim then it is illegal and unethical. The punishment for doxing is jail under criminal laws. Doxxing is mostly used as a method of attack on the victim.

How to prevent Doxxing?

  • Anyone can be a victim of Doxxing but no one wants to be one. Hence it is important that one knows effective ways to prevent Doxxing. You might not have anything to hide but you would not want your personal or private information to be misused by others or used against you. It is also difficult to keep your personal information not so personal on social media platforms nowadays. But we all know that prevention is better than cure. Hence life online is also filled with certain dos and don’ts.
  • It is important to make your settings on your internet-based life as private as could reasonably be expected and consider whether your telephone or phone number and email address ought to be obvious to any other person. Make use sure all your social media platform is private and personal information hidden.
  • Initiate two-advance validation on any stage where it’s accessible and utilize more longer and stronger passwords combined with secret words that no one would even guess. Do not make use of birthdays, anniversaries, phone numbers, lovers’ names, parents’ names, or pet names as passwords. Such passwords are known by many people and are very easy to guess. It is also advised to keep changing passwords frequently to be secure.
  • Do not get tempted when you receive emails of free giveaways or lucky draws. These emails have attached links and ask for personal information like phone numbers, email addresses, and home addresses for delivery. Once you give such information it can be misused. Also, these emails have links that contain viruses. Hence once should not fall prey to such activities.
  • You can also utilize VPNs to conceal your IP address. VPN is great as it is safe, secure, and encrypted. But make sure to use a good quality trusted VPN. Also, make sure that you make use of trusted websites online when you use social media accounts. If you use your social media accounts on someone else’s computer or on publicly used computers then make sure you log out from your social media account and also delete the history from the browser.
  • It is important that all your software’s are updated and free from viruses. Hence it is essential to install anti-viruses or malware detection software’s and also frequently delete browser history. It is also advised to remove or uninstall unwanted applications, software’s or extensions that are not in use.
  • When you discard various electronic products when they are not working or even when you buy a new one, make sure you delete all your personal information from it. Reboot your electronics before throwing them away. Similarly, when your electronic products get lost make sure to log out, deactivate, or change passwords immediately.
  • You can also remove all your personal information from Google. You can fill out Google forms to remove search results that relate or are of you. Similarly, you can remove your information from other browsers like Bing and Yahoo by visiting their privacy removal request forms.
  • Make use of different emails for when you are shopping online or ordering food. Keep one primary email that is strictly used for only important work and you make sure you do not share with other people. And a secondary email that you can use for other online activities. This way you will be safer from doxxers.

Conclusion

Doxxing is illegal and unethical. It can ruin the life of the victim hence once should be careful with the online world and prevent getting doxxed at all costs. It is also important to protect your personal information from others. Be safe and secure when using the internet.

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