In this lesson you will learn how to protect yourself from being doxed.
The best way to prevent doxing is to take good care of your privacy. That means handling your data and all personal data you get from other people responsibly.
Many users live their lives without managing their online privacy thinking they have nothing to hide. Of course, this is not the case. The data we share may end up in data leaks and used against us in the most unexpected ways. For instance, a list
of patients sick with COVID with their full personal data may end up in the hands of people who may bully people with the virus; we witnessed such cases back in 2020.
We will give you some social, communication, and technical recommendations, which will help you avoid sharing excessive amounts of information—information that can be abused by others.
Check your social privacy settings
If you have social accounts, those networks have a lot of information about you, and you might be surprised how much of it is visible to anybody on the Internet by default. That’s why we strongly recommend you check your privacy settings. It’s up
to you to decide what info you want to share with complete strangers versus your friends — or even nobody but you.
Moreover, in most social networks, you can limit the visibility of either individual posts and photos, or all at once. Consider who should see your photos – should it be all the people in your ‘friends’ list or just the people you know personally?
Watch what you post
Make sure that you are ready to be accountable for whatever you said online, and try not to post when you’re in an emotional state. Consider making your account closed, but be aware that this does not make it fully private, as your followers’ accounts
can be hacked and hence, whatever you post exposed.
Do not share your location
Many social networks offer the option to check in—to mark your location where you took a photo from, write a post, and so on. Geolocation is one of the most sensitive types of data, which can compromise you – following the geotags criminals can identify
where you live, which routes you take and when you are not at home. However, sharing geotags of places you travel to or rarely attend is rather safe.
Make sure that you do not show your personal data on
the photos you share
This should be an easy one, yet, looking up #tickets or #flights hashtags, we can see that so many people still share their personal data – for instance, their flight information. This data can be used even for a prank: once a pranker cancelled a
booking of an unwitting user simply using the booking number and the name of the user.
Keep your main e-mail address and phone number private
These are the two pieces of data that are tied to so many of your personal accounts – from a bank account to a social media account. Their leakage results in tons of spam in your e-mail inbox and hundreds of robocalls on your phone. Even if you can’t
avoid sharing this info with Internet services and online stores, don’t share it with random people on social networks. And consider creating a separate, disposable e-mail address and, if possible, a separate phone number for these cases.
Use safe messaging apps
Most modern messaging apps use encryption, but, in many cases, it’s what they call encryption in transit — messages are decrypted on the provider’s side and stored on its servers. What if someone hacks those servers? Don’t take that risk — choose
end-to-end encryption, and, that way, even the messaging service provider can’t see your conversations.
It is also better to use messengers that provide higher privacy settings, for instance, those that enable you to hide your phone number and other personal details, send self-destructive messages, which disappear after being read by the recipient and
keep messages on your phone only, not on the apps’ server.
Secure your phone and computer with passwords or passcodes
Imagine your device being stolen and the person who got his hands on it being able to guess the password – you will be surprised how easy that is. Now, they would have access to all your personal data – conversations, photographs, anything.
To protect your devices, use passwords sufficiently strong enough to keep random people out. On mobile devices, do a bit better: six-digit PINs or actual passwords rather than four digits and screen-lock patterns.
Use passwords or biometric authentication to lock your phones, tablets, and computers.
Disable lock screen notifications
Protect your phone with a long, secure password, but leave notifications on the lock screen? Now any passerby can see your business. To keep that information from appearing on the locked screen, set up notifications correctly. Disable lock-screen
notifications or hide sensitive information from the lock screen.
Follow these recommendations and share them with your loved ones. These simple rules will help you to protect your personal data and make things difficult for doxers.
Which of the following is a good practice to avoid doxing?
All the answers are true
Be mindful of what you post