Doxxing refers to a kind of cyber harassment in which an attacker shares the victim’s personal information with the public. Doxxers, as these attackers are known, scour the web for sensitive information like phone numbers, real names, and more without their consent.

Examples of doxxing

  • In the events after the 2013 marathon bombing in Boston, cyber vigilantes falsely accused a handful of innocent individuals of being suspects. Their list included a student aged 22, whose name was made public by the vigilantes. The amount of harassment that followed led to the student eventually taking his life.
  • In November 2015, a list that contained alleged Ku Klux Klan members, tagged “a form of resistance” against racial violence, was published by the Anonymous hacker group. The list contained over 350 names and was a reaction to the KKK’s threat to use ‘deadly force’ against the people protesting over Michael Brown’s death.

How to prevent doxxing

  • Reduce the amount of private information you share on the internet.
  • Be careful about the kind of comments you make and on what topics. 
  • Scrub your data from any data broker website.
  • Only use hard-to-crack, complex passwords and store them privately.
  • Keep your connection and online activities encrypted using a VPN.