Imagine browsing the internet and seeing sensitive information about you being displayed on websites. You would be shocked, embarrassed, and probably have to deal with emotional abuse from various individuals. This is what every victim of doxing has had to face.
Simply put, doxing is an act usually carried out by hackers to expose personal information about a person or group of people. Doxing victims can sometimes be harassed online and offline, and even get physical injuries from confrontations. In some cases, victims have had to modify their identities to avoid public shaming.
Methods used by Hackers to Perpetrate Doxing
Getting the Victim’s IP Address
Every device has an IP address that logs the location of the user. A hacker can get your IP address using specific methods like IP loggers. An IP logger is a piece of code that exposes a user’s IP address.
Once this information is gotten, it is typically used to get your identity on social media.
Public Wi-Fi Hacking
There are targeted doxing attacks that require the use of hacked public Wi-Fi. If a hacker can determine your behavior in real life, you can get sensitive information about you stolen. Connecting to hacked public Wi-Fi will leave you exposed to a cybercriminal.
The data that would get siphoned from your device includes login credentials.
Ways to avoid getting Doxed
Using Strong Passwords
Doxers typically attempt to hack your email or social media accounts because your inboxes contain a lot of personal information. They can get successful if you use a weak password or use the same password for several of your accounts.
A strong password contains at least eight characters. Mixing numbers and symbols will make it harder for a hacker to get your password. Your password should also not be composed of a relative’s name or pet’s name.
You can use a password manager to create a unique password for each account. They also store numerous passwords safely.
Get a VPN
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool that encrypts online traffic from a device. A VPN’s protection from doxing is two-fold.
First, using a VPN app for privacy protects you from public Wi-Fi hacking. A doxer who wants to get your personal information by hacking Wi-Fi you’re connected to would be wasting time. The encryption level of VPNs ensures that your data is hidden from third-parties.
The other security benefit of this app works best if you’re an anonymous internet user. If you use a pseudonym on a public forum or chat room, hackers would not be able to steal your IP address. This is because the second you connect to a VPN, your IP address gets changed to that of the VPN server you’re linked to.
Protect Social Media Privacy
Doxers sometimes publish personal details from your social media profiles. You need to limit the amount of information you expose on your social media accounts. Also, set your social media privacy level to allow only friends or followers to view your posts.
Doxing is a dangerous act that could have a lifelong impact on a victim. Unfortunately, any Internet user could fall victim to this. This is why everyone should be aware and consider taking the aforementioned measures to protect their identities online.