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The name, doxing, has been derived from documents. In simple words, doxing is the act of searching personal details about a person or an organization. Doxing starts with the picking up of name and/or email address of the person and finding out other details to learn more about him/her.
Many people do the doxing just out of curiosity to know about a person or organization. However, you will always get some wicked minds in any group, who will do this for blackmailing or for taking revenge.
The phenomenal growth of Internet has provided many opportunities to the people to grow with it. Many people have taken full advantage to their benefit. It has become a wonderful place to gain knowledge, exchange ideas, share information, make new friends. This is the reason that people have created their email accounts on various websites and social networking sites, giving their personal details.
Below we are providing a list of doxing techniques that are most commonly used:
There is no iota of doubt that Google is the most powerful tool to pick up any information as it indexes almost anything on the Internet.
Social Networking Websites:
Facebook and LinkedIn are few websites to reckon with. They are a virtual goldmine of information. People give prominence to their so-called achievements here. Most users are not aware of online security issues; they have weak privacy settings on their profile. This makes it easy for the attackers to gain access to their personal information.
Reverse Cell Phone Lookup:
There are many online services like Intelius Inc. in Washington that has a public records business. It provides the personal details about a given person based on his/her name, phone, and email ID.
Anyone can easily obtain personal information from a website like name, address, email and phone number. All you must do is to visit, whois.domaintools.com and enter the domain name for which you want to perform who’s search. It will show up all the associated details.
Consequences of Doxing:
Nobody can be trusted these days. There are many reasons for doxing, if it is being picked up for good purpose like to aid law enforcement, business analysis, then it is fine but it may become a problem for any person whose personal details fall into the hands of a person whose intention is bad. This can be a serious threat to the health, livelihood or family relationship of the victim.
How to protect yourself from Doxing:
The following information can be easily obtained through doxing.
- Name, age, gender, date of birth, location and place of birth
- Email addresses, phone number
- Social networking profiles, websites and blogs
Therefore, always try to keep the above information hidden from going public, whenever it is possible. Also, it is our basic duty to safeguard our personal data.
Is Doxing an offense?
Doxing is not a crime if used within a certain standard and the intention is good. However, if the intention is bad then it might well be considered as illegitimate.
We should always try to protect out personal details from falling into wrong hands. Here are the few practices which are recommended for every person:
- Do not upload personal photographs on web albums.
- If uploaded, try to configure privacy settings of your albums and photographs.
- Try to keep the Internet profiles private.
- Always create separate email IDs for all individual activities like banking accounts, various memberships etc.