What is doxing - Information and solutions

What is doxing - Information and solutions

With the use of Social Media being more and more common on a daily basis, it's important to be aware of a new trend which has affected countless celebrities, but may affect ordinary people more and more every time. Doxing, or doxxing is defined as the research of public database on the Internet as well as on Social media. So what is Doxing? How can this affect you? How can you avoid it and what risks does doxing have? If you want to know what doxing is, don't miss this OneHowto article.

What is doxing?

The first thing to take into account is that doxing itself is legal. However,it is linked to cyberbullying and hacking, as doxing involves the search of an individual's personal information. As a matter of fact, doxing derives from document tracing, i.e. compiling a person or company's information to learn more.

There is an un-ethical and illegal component to doxing, if this practice is used for harassment, public humiliation or even extortion, this matter can turn into a lawful issue.

What techninques are used in doxing?

There are many ways of performing doxing. The easiest and most used tool is simply googling a name of a person and company.

Hackers doxing can also usually find a person's details through Reverse Cell Phone Lookup. Your phone number can contain many personal information such as email, age and even address. Websites such as Whois Lookup allow you to find the person or company behind certain websites tracing the IP back.

Social Networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook are also a great source of information such as photos, location and even phone number.

How can doxing affect me?

Although doxing has mainly affected celebrities and big companies who have been harassed and/or blackmailed, some doxxing has been used to target individuals as a method of vigilante justice, public shaming and extortion.

If you share personal information on the Internet, anyone can use it for curiosity or even in their own benefit. Information such as social activities, medical history or daily habits in the hands of the wrong people can cause the victim to be extorted and have serious consequences.

How to avoid doxing

The most common information targeted is your full name, age, date of birth, email, usernames, phone number, blogs and social networks. Therefore, it's important to make sure any pictures you upload on your Social Networks are properly hidden from both public and search enginges. Make sure none of your albums are available to the public as some settings are a bit confusing. Use several email addresses for your Internet activities to minimize the harm if you do get hacked.

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  • Check your chances of being doxed every once in a while to make sure there isn't any public information available on the Internet which may be liable to be doxed.