Doxxing is the collection and publication of personal information available online for the purpose of harassment through the exposure of a person. Although it is not technically illegal, it is clearly considered as a harassment by most internet users.
Thus, bills have been proposed to establish its prohibition by law and to be considered a criminal offense.
Doxxing Do I have to worry?
Probably not. Doxxing is generally a targeted form of harassment, and if you have no reason to worry, you are probably safe. You usually make it to famous Internet users, or real-life users. Many Internet users have an electronic nickname, avoiding disclosing more information about them.
Here comes the doxxing.
After searches, the real name, but also other private information, is revealed and published online, revealing the true identity of a person to everyone. This of course is a significant violation of the victim's privacy.
If your name is publicly released, your phone number and your real address make you vulnerable to too many online crimes, such as swatting, physical harassment, and stalking to name a few of them. Of course, and you are more vulnerable to targeted attacks Phishing, as attackers know much more information that could spark your interest.
Let's say if your presence on the Internet is not important, you do not have to worry. But if you are a public figure and you are involved in political (and not) discussions, on websites like this Twitter and Facebook (which have stored many of your personal information) a wrong word can cause reactions from those who disagree with you.
Occasionally, we have seen very unfortunate events with wrong doxxing, like 2013, when in Reddit accused a wrong person for the terrorist attack in Boston. The accused was not the bomber. He was a victim who had died after the bomb exploded, and his family had to deal with his defense until the real suspect was found.
How to protect yourself
The majority of doxxing attacks occur where there is personal data, ie through social networks rather than hacking on personal computers.
It is very difficult to stop it because there are users who share too much data online. Here, let's say that even if you think your information is hidden, it is not.
For example, even if you have hidden your birthday on Facebook, with a search in your timeline for the terms "happy birthday" "to live" "Happy Birthday" etc, your birthday will appear. Once an attacker learns exactly when you were born, they may have easier access to data available on other services.
So hiding your birthday can only protect you from people who do not know how to discover data.
On the other hand, hiding all your personal information is contrary to the terms of social networks.
There is definitely no sense in not posting your address, telephone number or birthday on the internet, but there are also some who can infer a lot about you from your seemingly innocuous publications. Every little detail can be used to reveal the next.
Removing old posts and observing what data your posts hide is an option that can help you if you do not choose the radical solution to completely delete your account.