What Is Doxxing and How to Protect Yourself Against It?
You have probably come across the term 'doxxing' in the media or heard it used by friends without being too sure what it means exactly. Doxxing is a relatively new term for something that has been going on even before the word was invented.
Doxxing refers to the act of purposefully exposing personal information about a person to a wider audience online, done with malicious intent. This includes information such as someone's full name or home address.
In a few cases similar information might already be available online. For example, your name may appear on your company's website, including your work address, but doxxing usually refers to revealing information that you did not intend to make public.
The repercussions of such disclosure are obvious and none of them are pretty. This is why you should to your best to minimize the potential for a malicious entity doxxing you by managing your online information footprint well.
There are a few steps you can take to do this.
Minimize publicly available personal information
Whenever you register for an online service, always make sure you provide the minimum information required to complete your account registration process. If you feel uncomfortable with disclosing certain details that the service needs to make the account, consider trying a different provider.
Be aware of who you share personal information with
It's always a good idea to be very careful when disclosing personal details about your life and routine when talking to people online. With services like Discord making it very easy to get in touch with a lot of people, you need to pay attention to what you disclose about yourself, both in public channels as well as direct messages.
It's usually a good idea to keep sensitive information within your family circle and never share it with friends.
Practice safe browsing as best you can
There are multiple online services that can evaluate just how safe and secure your browser is. There are also multiple solutions that have tracking blocker capabilities. You can usually install those as addons inside your browser.
This will minimize the probability of your browsing habits and actions leaving an identifiable online trace.
Another good idea is to check discoverability settings in all your social media accounts and make sure your information in there is only accessible to people you are comfortable with.