What is Doxxing and why is it bad?

Doxxing is the collection and publication of personal information on the Internet, usually for the purpose of inciting harassment in real life.

Although not technically illegal, it is considered harassment by most people and has been suggested bills to be charged in the future as a crime.

Should I worry about that?

Probably not. The Doxxing it is generally a targeted attack, similar to harassment in your real life and if you have not targeted someone, you are probably safe.

It usually affects Internet celebrities such as live streamers, YouTubers and social media celebrities. Since many of them use a pseudonym on the internet, revealing their real name is a significant breach of privacy. Publishing your name, phone number and address online leaves you vulnerable to real risks, such as  theft.

Although you may not have to worry so much if you keep a low profile on the Internet, these days it can go viral very quickly for many different reasons.

Political discussions, especially on a hot topic on sites like Twitter and Facebook (where you probably already have your personal information) and a wrong word can cause a wave of hatred in anyone who disagrees with you.

Occasionally, they do dox for other reasons, such as in 2013 when Reddit blamed against wrong one person for being the Boston Bomber. But it was not him. He was a victim who had died in the incident, and his family had to deal with many angry people until the real suspect was found.

How to protect yourself

The vast majority of doxxing incidents come from people collecting data from your personal profiles from social media sites and not from a real cyber intrusion. It is difficult to prevent this as almost everyone is sharing too much information on the internet. So even low profile people could fall victim.

For example, even if you have hidden your birthday in your Facebook profile, many can find out by looking at the posts in your news feed until they find "Happy Birthday". Once they know when you were born, they will be able to access data more easily from other sites. But while hiding your birthday in public will not stop the internet "Sherlock Holmes" from discovering your information, it will stop many indiscreet people. So it is better to keep the date private.

Realistically, however, hiding all your personal information and anonymity runs counter to social media. Of course, it does not make sense to post your address, phone number, or birthday online;

Deleting old posts and being careful in the future is an option to take more drastic action. Of course the most drastic measure is to delete every account on social media, but no one wants to do it.

But you must remember that the internet does not forget. Your every piece of information exists even if you do not see it. So it would be good not to publish sensitive information, which will put you in a difficult position if they circulate in public.




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