In today’s era, doxing isn’t as hard as it used to be before. Like other vulnerabilities and data breaches, today doxing may rely on human as a vulnerability. Just type a person’s name on a reputable search engine, and you get all their information. Doxing has been made easier by the ever-growing social media popularity and the fact that people are careless on what they post online. Apart from the posts, various social media platforms have some security and privacy parameters which most of the people who end up as victims don’t take a look at. We also don’t read the terms and conditions; we just agree with them to make the process simpler. If you are still wondering what’s doxing, it’s the process of getting information about something, i.e. an individual and the broadcasting, all this is done via the internet. The problem starts when doxing is carried out by malicious people and that what we’ll be talking about in this article.
With a good motivation, attackers can make the Internet give up the information which you already put there with much ease. While there isn’t a perfect defense mechanism against it, there are measures which you can take to make sure you are prepared for it, and you can also mitigate the aftermath. Below is everything you should know about doxing regarding what to do.
When it comes to doxing, everyone is at risk. Even if you don’t think you’re at risk, the most important thing to do is to prepare; prevention is better than the cure. Most individuals will start getting prepared when the risk has already occurred which isn’t good. Its advisable to put up some sort of security and privacy measures first, especially if you’re about to do something that is going to attract unwanted attention. If you are a woman, you’re at more risk of getting blackmailed.
The first step to prepare is performing something like doxing on yourself. You should be aware of your records which are publicly available and hunt them down. That’s, search yourself on let’s say google and then lock yourself down. The level of lockdown will depend on how much information will you be able to access about yourself. A good plan will involve you being cautious about what you post on various social media platforms and when posting, ensure you turn off your locations services.
Own a domain name? If you haven’t paid for whois protection, your name, number, adress and city is publicly visible for everyone to see. Type your domain name in who.is to see if this information is public.
Example of doxing
The video below is a comedic video from youtuber h3h3 which shows a very public person “Post Malone” get doxed and his home adress revealed to millions of viewers on youtube.
You can enhance the capability of doxing an attacker/hacker has if you have a weak security safeguarding your account. If someone has managed to dox your, they will obviously look for ways to get more concrete information and that means trying to compromise your account.
To avoid this, use stronger passwords which are at least 12 to 16 characters long and are different for every other account. This is going to be a menace, and so you will need a password manager. To compliment your password and login security, use other authentication methods such as two-factor authentication and even the one which employs the use of security keys.
Important steps to follow if you’re being doxed
Different people have different ways to which they respond to threats. Others may let the threat take its cause, other try to avoid it and well, others mitigate the risks that come after. In doxing, is a bit difficult to deal with the threat but once you realize that you are being actively doxed which eventually becomes a big deal there’s a simple approach you can take to avoid further doxing. Lockdown all your accounts for a period till when the doxing threat has cooled off. You can then track down the threats and report it to various platforms. If you can handle all the mental pressure that comes it, you can have someone (trusted) to all the work for you.
In the process of locking down your accounts and tracking the threat, you can also report the issue to your various online platform to get some help. Doxing is a violation of almost all online platforms term of service. For instance, if you report a doxing incident on Facebook, they will suspend the doxing account or even take the post down themselves. Sometimes this step may not work if your situation has escalated and you’re facing a troll army. In this case, refer to the first step; preparedness and having a plan.