DOXXING – The New Threat (PART 2)

PROTECTING AGAINST DOXXING

This is Part 2 of a two part series on the subject of “Doxxing”.  In Part 1 we defined Doxxing, discussed how it is being used, and reviewed the risks and threats Doxxing represents.  In this part we will talk about what can be done to best protect yourself against Doxxing.

DOXXING REITERATED

To reiterate, Doxxing is loosely defined as an Internet based practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information (such as names, addresses, phone numbers, spouse, children, relatives, financial history, and much more) about an individual.  The process of doxxing is facilitated by the ready availability of sensitive personal information on the Internet.

The simple fact of the matter is that information brokers have compiled comprehensive information profiles about just about everyone.  This information is then made available for anyone to acquire on the Internet.  These sources feed the practice of doxxing and can lead to many different types of assaults including the following – which do not need to be life threatening to be debilitating:

  • Targeting
    • Physical Stalking
    • Cyber Stalking
    • Bullying
    • Harassment
    • Embarrassment
    • Identity Theft
    • Coercion
    • Extortion
    • Vigilante “Justice”, etc.

This is, of course, a very serious issue.   Many have been victimized already.  So, what can be done?

PROTECTING AGAINST DOXXING

With respect to protecting yourself against doxxing, and other misuses of your personal information, there’s lots of good advice out there regarding the use of the Internet, such as:

  • Don’t use your actual name on the Internet;
  • Never give out personal information like phone numbers or physical addresses;
  • Don’t send sensitive information from a personal computer;
  • Remove personal information from social media accounts;
  • Clear cookies and browser cache on a regular basis; and
  • Countless suggestions regarding safe email usage, etc.

At the end of the day, while all of this is useful and well intended, the only practical solution is to remove your personal information from these sites.  But, that task is easier said than done.

The unfortunate reality is that removing personal information from these sites is intentionally convoluted and difficult.  While it is technically possible, most people do not have the time or patience to execute each of the following steps:

 Step 1 – Identify all of the more than 200 sites that compile, maintain and sell personal information, and then zero in on the 50 that can really hurt you.

Step 2 – Dig through each of the sites to locate the particular set of instructions for opting out of that site.

Step 3 – Follow each of the required processes, prepare and submit the necessary form or forms, and provide the additional information necessary (including a photo ID in some cases) to complete the opt out request.

Step 4 – After the full set of opt out instructions have been submitted, revisit each of the sites to verify they have complied with the opt out request.

Step 5 – More than a step, this is an on-going process.  Even after many of these sites have complied with the initial removal instructions, they will repopulate personal information over time.  So, periodically (at least every 30 days), it is necessary to return to Step 1 and repeat the entire process.

Protecting your personal information in an on-line world is a never ending and time consuming, but very necessary process for individual and family safety – especially today.

Visit https://www.manageurid.com to learn more.