Celebrities cry out loud, people burst out on the internet, and the law enforcement agencies are still clueless about the potential harm of it. Doxxing had and still is making thousands of lives miserable. In today’s cybersecurity what is it blog, we are discussing what doxxing is, and how it can seriously affect you both emotionally and physically.
What is doxxing? [cybersecurity what is it]
Doxxing is derived from the term “dropping dox” It is used for a scenario where someone collects your personal & private information (as sensitive as possible) and then use it to blackmail, threaten or bully you.
Doxxing was once used by hackers to draw the veil of anonymity on their fellow hackers. However, it is common now more than ever. When one thinks of cyberbullying or blackmailing, the first thought that comes into mind is, “Okay, so that’s what famous people like Leonardo di Caprio or Katy Perry has to face, we don’t need to worry about it” The truth can’t be further from it.
Yes, while it is true celebrities or other famous people have a lot to lose if their personal information is leaked, but that doesn’t mean we can bear the bullying or threats if it comes toward us. We spend most of our day on the internet. We comment, like and share things that we like and what we want others to like about us. This information keeps getting bigger and if stolen and organized can expose us to unimaginable horrors. Let’s learn more about it in this cybersecurity explained article.
How harmful is “Harmful”?
We tend to not take something seriously before it happens and we realize the actual impact of it on our lives and of those connected to us. You may not believe it right now, but there are people out there (yes even at this very moment) who are looking for people like us to target.
Once they set their eyes on you, they’ll do everything from data scraping to infecting your devices with viruses, to collect every bit of information on you and then bully or blackmail you. Their negative intentions may include:
- To humiliate you (by exposing your data to your colleagues, friends or even family)
- To blackmail you by fake editing your data
- Hack your social media accounts and expose your data through it
- Expose you to cyber attacks
- Cause fake threats.
How does doxxing work?
There are many ways, using which a hacker or a team of hackers can collect your data & then misuse it against you. Some of the techniques are mentioned here:
In this technique, a hacker sets a fake public hotspot Wifi. Once you connect to any such Wifi, your data is exposed to the hacker. What websites you are visiting, what data you’re giving, everything can be seen and recorded by the hackers.
In this technique, a hacker adds a malicious piece of code into your device (through an email or message or by sharing something) Once that code is injected in your device, your IP address is leaked and using it, your data is stolen.
How can you protect against doxxing?
Here are some basic and advanced ways to protect yourself against doxxing.
Look what you share
When we are on social media, we tend to overshare. Whether it be with a friend, family or colleague, we sometimes share more than usual due to emotional attachment, excitement or fun. The more we share, the more are the chances of a larger finger or footprint. The small chunks of information we are sharing today can become a pile of embarrassment tomorrow.
Beware of your beloved websites
Most of the time, when we are looking for something on the internet, we don’t care for the websites we visit looking for that something. Many websites on the internet are not safe (especially those without SSL protection) If we are not careful when providing information on these websites, these websites can later sell our information or use it against us.
Always connect to a VPN
Whether you are connecting to a public Wifi, or at your office, always connect to a VPN. For example, if you’re connecting to a public Wifi on your iPhone, connect to the VPN in TOR Browser Private Web + VPN. Once you connect to the VPN, your identity will immediately be replaced by a different one and no hacker would be able to locate or trace the data back to you. Also, your data will be highly encrypted and it’ll be sent through a private tunnel instead of the regular one. This way no one will be able to steal your data.
While sharing is good, it can also become a nuisance if we are not careful. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are always on the look for a chance to exploit our data. We need to be more careful and take necessary security measures towards our privacy. TOR Browser Private Web + VPN is one such app, that protects you against hackers and scammers. Keep coming back for more “cybersecurity what is it” articles.