The Best Way to Prevent Doxxing (Useful Tips Against Cyberbullies)
Doxxing has been around for quite some time. Doxxing occurs when a malicious actor releases someone’s private information to the public. This is usually done as a form of blackmail or harassment, though some may see it as nothing more than a harmless “prank”.
Sadly, cyberbullying and doxxing aren’t going away anytime soon. In the meantime, here’s how you can identify and respond to cross-platform online harassment. Find out how to protect yourself from doxxing, and how to avoid any unwanted attention in the first place.
Don’t share too much about yourself
If you don’t take care with the kind of information you post online, it’s fairly easy to get doxxed. You probably don’t want random strangers to know who you are, your contact information, or where you live and work, unless you’re already in the public spotlight. “Pranks” pulled by doxxers, such as “swatting”, can be deadly.
It goes beyond simply removing things like your school or employer from your social media profiles. Review your post history and delete any comments that contain too much personal information. A seemingly benign detail can lead to doxxing, such as mentioning the school you attended years ago or the name of a teacher.
Clean up your old social media posts with free services like TweetDelete and Facebook’s activity log. Want more control over your privacy settings and deeper cleanup options? You’ll love the Jumbo privacy assistant app for iOS and Android. It Additionally, it works with Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn, and can delete Alexa voice recordings, among many other useful privacy features.
Tip: Google yourself
You can test how easy it would be to doxx you by looking up your name and accounts online. To find results that specifically include your name, use quote marks (e.g. “John Doe”, “Doe John”). Through this form, you can ask Google to remove any results that contain personal information about you.
Keep an eye out for quizzes
Quizzes online can be a lot of fun. Who doesn’t want to know what celebrity they are, or which Avengers house they belong to? It is important to keep in mind that such quizzes may provide doxxers with clues about the answers to your account security questions.
In addition, you usually have to provide an email address or your real name in order to receive quiz results. Because of the large number of data breaches in recent years, this is generally risky. If you provide more data to different services, it is more likely to leak online and be used by scammers, doxxers, and other malicious actors.
Separate non-essential emails
In terms of preventing data leaks, you should consider using throwaway emails when registering on non-essential websites or forums. Consider an online store you’ll only shop from once, or a site that gives away free stuff (video games, books, etc.).
Having been on the Internet for a long time, you tend to gather an ungodly number of accounts that you forget about. A data breach later, and you’re in trouble scrambling You changed all your passwords because you bought a pair of shoes a couple of years ago. In addition, your email may end up published somewhere a doxxer can easily find it.
Mask your location with a VPN
Sometimes cyberstalkers use IP grabbers, links and scripts designed to reveal your IP address and determine your physical location. Your IP address only reveals your country, city, and ZIP code, but that information may be enough for a stalker to gather more information about you.
A VPN prevents all of this by masking your real IP address and replacing it with a different one, based on the server you use. Moreover, VPNs encrypt (or scramble) your network traffic, making it difficult for hackers or your ISP to eavesdrop on your online activities.
Don’t use a “free” VPN, as those come with their own set of risks. It can include data logging and selling, malware infections, browser hijacking, or even leaking your data online in some cases.