Over the course of years, the world of internet has changed a lot. One of the most common thing that has been happening around the internet since its beginning is the ability of being “anonymous”. In fact, impersonating to be anonymous or someone else on the internet has become a trend on internet. No matter what you do on internet, one can easily see the anonymity of people hiding behind comment on various social media post and videos.
Mostly, people take the advantage of being anonymous on the internet to fulfil their wicked intentions. Being anonymous is good in some cases, however, there are a few cases when being anonymous can bring hate speech within the people. Once cannot certainly understand the reason behind someone’s anonymity.
With so much anonymity on the internet, doxxing can help people to find the man hiding behind the face of anonymity. The standard meaning of Doxxing is an Internet-based practice of researching and broadcasting private or identifiable information especially personally identifiable information about an individual or organization. Doxxing can be carried out by an individual to find out someone’s private information. On the other hand, doxxing is performed by legal authorities or business users as well. The techniques used to carry out Doxxing are closely related to the techniques of hacktivism and internet vigilantism.
Who can be Doxxed?
In the past it was easy to take over someone’s identity, but nowadays it is very difficult to take over anyone’s identity and then spend a whole life with that identity. The reasons of being easily doxxed is because of the increasing use of the internet. Anyone can be doxxed easily on the internet. Most of us usually add our private information like name, phone number, address, social security number, number of siblings and their names, check ins and other information related to us on the internet. Since, some of the sites like Facebook allow us to add our sibling and relatives on our account this can actually help the person performing doxxing to get complete information of an individual. Nowadays, tearing down the reputation and image on the internet has become a common practice, therefore, anyone can be the victim of doxxing.
Is Doxxing Legal?
The World Wide Web is filled with the debates on the topic whether doxxing is legal or not. The situation of doxxing is not like a coin that at one time only one side can stay. Rather it is like a mirror where both positive and negative sides are present. It is a matter of intention and level of authority that determines whether it is legal or not. Prying on someone’s information for personal benefits and with intention of defaming the person for personal gains then surely doxxing is illegal. On the other hand, if doxxing is performed for law enforcement, business analysis, risk analytics, extortion, coercion, harassment, online shaming, and vigilante justice then doxxing is legal.
How Can I Avoid Doxxing?
With so much happening around on the internet and authorities prying on the personal messages and information, it has become necessary to take preventive measures against doxxing. One way to prevent yourself from doxxing is to use “WHOIS protection”. This protection disables the hackers to get your private information through your domain registrar. The second way is to use a VPN connection. It will enable you to hide your IP address on the public networks giving you complete freedom while surfing on the internet. The next way is to use strong and different passwords, varying usernames and multi-level authorisation services. The last way that we suggest you to keep yourself safe from doxxing is to increase your social media privacy alongside adding only those people who you know personally.
Susan Alexandra is a small business owner, traveler and investor of cryptocurrencies. She is just another creative writer helping to create the kind of information that young people want.
Susan is a guest blogger, all opinions are her own.