Many people have heard something about cybercrimes, but a few take measures to prevent it. Meanwhile, hackers become smarter and invent new ways to lure huge amounts of money from their victims. One of them is doxing. What it is and how to prevent it – read below.
What Is Doxing?
Doxing is the type of activity to obtain private information that can be used to blackmail, racketeer, bullying, or make a certain threat to the victim by publicly disclosing his private information. If you were told that someone was “doxed”, it means that information about him has become public.
As a rule, doxing is made to embarrass a person, to criticize him/her, revenge, or even make physical harm. This is a very serious threat to people’s privacy, and it can even ruin a life. Major doxing attacks include public shame and humiliation on a large scale. As a result, some people may lose their job, family, or even home.
This type of cybercrime often occurs against celebrities, however, it could also happen to politicians, civil activists, CEOs, journalists, and bloggers. All these become possible due to cyberattacks, fishing, private data falsifications, etc.
Among the victims of doxing was the famous Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro, who became the target for bots and trolling in 2014. She was threatened by doxing when criminals published her contacts and private information online. Her messengers and e-mails were also hacked.
How to Prevent It?
If you think that you may become the target for doxing, it is important to understand the steps you can take to prevent it:
- Improve your privacy settings on social networks
It is important to minimize the distribution of personal data via social networks. Make sure that you know each person who is your friend on Facebook or following you on Instagram. Make your accounts private and remove from your accounts any addresses, places of work or other places where you are. Make your personal settings private, so only friends can see your posts, and avoid discussing personal info that may be used against you.
- Protect Internet connections
Hackers can read your Internet data, even if your content is encrypted. Because every Internet connection has an IP address, so your location can be monitored every time you go online. Installing a VPN solves this problem by maintaining your anonymity on the Internet. Beware of public Wi-Fi networks, as hackers can intercept all your Internet activity.
- Protect your PC
Doxware is a malware or spyware program that can steal your personal data, as well as passwords for online services. Install an antivirus and regularly update the software so that doxware cannot “intercept” your device.
- Secure your passwords
Doxers will try to find everything that they can use against you, and will also try to hack your accounts. Use strong passwords or two-factor authentication to prevent it. Use the password manager to create secure and complex passwords for each account.
Make sure that your online activity is secured, so doxers couldn’t steal your data.