Doxing: what is this practice and how to protect ourselves from it

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It is increasingly difficult to remain completely anonymous on the Internet. Virtually all the web pages we visit today collect information about us from the browser, information that is often used for commercial or analysis purposes despite having activated Do Not Track requests, requests totally ignored. In addition to all this information that the websites collect, there is other information that, on purpose or without realizing it, we are giving away to the Internet, information that, without knowing it, can be used for different practices, such as Doxing, which can search for more than one person. issue.

Doxing, or “Doxxing”, is a practice whereby hackers carry out investigative work to gather as much information as possible about a person, usually online information, but can also sometimes include real-life information, from their personal life, and posts it online in order to incite bullying in real life.

The techniques used by hackers to carry out this practice can be of all kinds, from searches in databases and social networks to more advanced techniques such as hacking, social engineering and even phishing.

How people can collect personal information for Doxing

Although today it is possible to easily obtain personal information from anyone, no matter how paranoid they are about their privacy, in most cases the individuals who carry out this collection of personal data do so through social networks, specifically through Facebook. Or, at least, this is almost always the starting point.

Without realizing it, by the simple fact of using a social network like this we are giving away to a private company, governments and practically anyone interested in investigating us. From personal data, such as name, studies, work or dates of birth, to information about our tastes and our priorities, information that can easily be deduced from the photos that are uploaded to the social network.

Only with the date of birth, without going any further, it is possible to impersonate a person in many places. In addition, many times it is not even necessary to use social networks, since a simple Google search can easily reveal a lot of information about people, especially if they have a public position.

How people can collect personal information for Doxing

The best way to protect yourself against doxing, or at least to make things very complicated, is not to use social networks, or, if you do, to avoid providing personal information such as addresses, date of birth, or other similar information. It is true that today it is practically impossible to stay offline, but if we are concerned about our security, then we should try to provide the Internet with as little information as possible.

Another way to protect ourselves from these practices is by deleting old posts from Twitter or Facebook (since we may have unknowingly provided a lot of personal information over time), and if social media is not vital to us , even remove them completely. In the following link, for example, we explain how to delete a Facebook account completely.

In any case, we can also configure alerts in Google so that, if our name or some personal data (such as a mobile phone) appears on any site, the search engine automatically notifies us and we can try to remedy it by talking to the person responsible for the data so that delete them (which, by the GDPR, you are required to do so).


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