In this article we’re going to be discussing Protecting Yourself From Doxing, we give you a brief overview of what it is, what the goals are, what you should be on the lookout for and examples of things we’ve seen people try before. This article has 4 sections, but is most useful if it’s read in its entirety, but if you have a short attention span feel free to jump to the section you’re most interested in.
When someone attempts to dox you, they are attempting to find out as much real-world personal information as possible, and use it to manipulate you. This includes things like your name, address, phone number, private photos, employer, spouses name, children’s names, in-laws names, or other relatives information. They will use this to expose your private information, unpleasant social media activity, politically incorrect opinions, or embarrassing photos. They may try to get an online mob to harass the people in your life, in other cases they hope the people in your social circle to act on this information. In some cases they may try to contact your employer and get you fired, get your spouse fired, get you kicked out of any groups or organizations you belong to or socially ostracize you from your friends and family. In other cases they may use this as leverage to threaten you into gathering or giving them information about another person. Sometimes they may try to force you into saying or posting opinions or beliefs you don’t agree with to keep them from exposing your dirty laundry. If you engage in any online adversarial behavior or hold any opinions that are politically incorrect, at some point someone will try and dox you to make you stop. We discuss ways you can protect yourself in our Maintaining Operational Security article.(Return to Top)
Doxing Attempts – What to Look For
Most people attempting to dox you will use social engineering to try and trick you into revealing personal information. They will try to offer you cash, crypto-currency, nudes, pornography, social recognition, or even e-fame to try to entice you into revealing information, clicking a link that reveals some of your information, or installing a virus/malware that reveals your information. On occasion they will even try to use a personal tragedy, like some was in a car crash and is in the hospital and it’s a matter of life or death that they speak with you. I have even seen people pretend to be law enforcement and try and scare you into revealing your information. Your best defense is to follow the rule that you never reveal your personal information to anyone. You should be wary of anyone who asks for your personal information online. You should be extremely suspicious of anyone who is persistent that you reveal your real information to them. Personally I like to use the Fake Name Generator to send them off in the wrong direction for a while. You should never click a link from an unknown person, especially if it’s someone you have never spoken with before they send it to you.(Return to Top)
Doxing Attempts We’ve Seen
We’ve been online a long time and have seen quite a few people with nefarious intentions attempt to dox us. Here’s list of some of the techniques they have tried so you have an idea of what you should be on the lookout for:
- Women offering nudes or Webcam Shows.
- Men offering nudes or Webcam Shows.
- Trans people offering nudes or Webcam Shows.
- People offering photos of nude teens.
- Women offering to go on “dates”.
- Men offering to go on “dates”.
- People offering to meet for coffee to talk about my political opinions.
- People offering thousands of dollars/crypto-currency for me to do something.
- People offering money if I appear on their Web Show/Podcast.
- People offering to make me an e-Celebrity.
- Law enforcement threatening to be on the way to arrest you.
- People asking for information about another user, they are a family member and he/she is missing.
- People offering to help me with any financial difficulties.
- People “concerned” about my mental health.
We strongly encourage everyone to look at our Online Operational Security Article , and at the bare minimum start using a VPN and switch to an Anonymous Email Account these are two low effort steps that offer high levels of protection.(Return to Top)