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One of the features of the web is that we have to provide some personal information about ourselves before we can use many features. Using our photos, location, preferences, banking information and other types of data, we often give the online world a pretty clear picture of who we are and what we do. However, this data can be compiled by others, without our expertise, into a data-based report. It can be dangerous if this personal information falls into the hands of people who want to sue, insult, intimidate, embarrass or harm you.
It is not uncommon to hear the expression : He just got doxxed. But what does that mean?
Simply put, doxxing is a threat to user privacy on the Internet. The words come from a converted version of documents – dox. It started three decades ago when the first hackers used a retaliatory strategy by building files on people. In a broader sense, however, it means that individual information that may reveal the identity of the data subject (a specific person or an organization) is sought, collected and shared openly without the consent of the data subject. It has changed from a strategy used by hackers who want to reveal people’s anonymity and expose them to law enforcement to one used by anyone with malicious intent against another person online.
Everyone from online gamers to cyber bullies can make a dox about you. And even with the increasing number of cases being handled, it can affect anyone. The consequences of an action can be barely noticeable or life-changing. Some people’s lives have been ruined because of this.
Doxing may seem harmless – after all, you’re putting all this data online for people to see, right? However, if someone does extensive research and obtains information online that you do not want to share, and then uses that information to harm you, the consequences can be very devastating.
Consequences can range from subtle things like:
- Disclosure of anonymous identities
- Trick Call
- to delete social media accounts
Life effects include
- Shame and embarrassment
- Cyberbullying and social media backlash
- Damage to the reputation of the expert or person
- Identity Theft
- Cyber Attacks
- Legitimate prosecution
- Immediate relocation
- Loss of job, household or home
- Attacks and harassment
- Whacking (misrepresenting events, such as the circumstances of a hostage situation in your home).
Doxing can be a tricky business. However, this can be avoided. Here are some of the most important steps you can take to avoid being harassed.
1- Use an encrypted network
Here’s how a doxer can examine your data in real time.
Prevent you from connecting to the Internet when you are connected to a public Wi-Fi network. All this real-time data indicates that your sensitive data, such as logins and passwords, is at risk.
Secure yourself with a VPN to protect your personal information from doxers, and hide your real IP address to protect your region and other information from cybercriminals and doxers.
2- Restriction and security of interactions on the Internet
Being online and using social media means that enough of your information is currently available online for others to see. You can include your first and last name, phone number, home and work address, date of birth, photos, information about your friends and family members, hobbies, etc. Simply offering this data can be a great method for those who intend to dock you.
However, you can limit this through the privacy settings. This limits not only those who see your data, but also those who interact with you. Censoring your language and participating in public discussion forums like Reddit can also make you less susceptible to harassment.
3- Use different passwords
Try not to use the same password for all your social networks to reduce the risk of hacking.
Make sure these passwords are at least 12 characters long with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and some keyboard characters. You can also use the password manager to develop strong and complex passwords for each account.
4- Prevent visits with Facebook and Google pop-ups
On many websites, the Facebook login and Google login features are part of the account creation process. This is done to facilitate synchronization.
Authorizing multiple sites with a Facebook or Google account makes you particularly vulnerable to a breach. Any breach of security will give Cyberpunks access to your data on all these sites. Avoid it as often as possible to stay safe.
5- Avoid the websites of information brokers.
Information brokerage sites are sites that collect large amounts of personal information and sell it to organizations. You may not recognize an information brokerage that has a complete file on you. Nevertheless, the information they have may include your background, economic earnings, order of entry, criminal experience, medical records, etc.
It is safer to use the internet with some protection than to just connect to a public network or even your own home network without protection.
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about how to not get doxxed on discord and let us know what you think.
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