Doxxing is a form of online harassment that involves sharing a person’s private information publicly. Doxxers search for, collect, and then share personally identifiable information like the victim’s name, address, phone number, and pictures without the victim’s consent, leading to further and potentially more severe harassment from other people using the leaked information.
- Following the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, online vigilantes wrongfully accused a number of people of being suspects, including a 22-year-old student whose name the vigilantes publicized. The enormous harassment he received led him to take his own life, according to his family.
- In November of 2015, the Anonymous hacker group shared a list of 350 alleged Ku Klux Klan members, calling it “a form of resistance” against racial violence. The doxxing was a response to the KKK’s threat to use ‘deadly force’ against those protesting over the killing of Michael Brown.
How to avoid doxxing
- Limit the information you share online.
- Think twice before you comment online.
- Remove yourself from data broker websites.
- Create strong, unique passwords, and keep them private.
- Protect your internet connection with a VPN.