Thursday, April 29, 2021

Doxxing Prep

Doxxing, or "dropping docs", is a fairly new threat, which started to become common in the 1990s and has evolved into an everyday occurrence today. Put simply, doxxing is digging up and releasing private information on a person as a form of threat, punishment, or revenge. 

We all have skeletons in our closets. Nobody is perfect; mistakes and poor judgement is part of being human. If you do or say something that offends another person, which is almost a given in today's cultural climate, you run the risk of having your personal information published. Blackmail is another popular option, something usually reserved for those with money or public opinion to lose. Revenge is as old as history and has countless causes. 

Be Prepared for Doxxing
 you have to take stock of your skeletons and decide if they are big enough to have a serious impact on your life if they are paraded in public. This is becoming more difficult because the perpetually offended are digging deeper and searching for anything that their target may have done at any point in their life. The causes of offence are also morphing into some truly bizarre stretches of reality; things that were innocuous 40 years ago are enough to ruin a career today. Certain words and activities are now "forbidden" even though they were in common use in recent history. 

Make the Doxxer's Job Harder

  • Watch what you post on the internet, because it's extremely difficult to delete anything once published online.
  • Modify what you share publicly and privately. Your friends are less likely to share personal information than a random person in your neighborhood group or page. 
  • Choose your social media with care. Research their security and privacy policies. Remember that if you're not paying for a service, you're not the customer; rather, you're the product being sold. Ad revenue pays for most social media, so personal information is what they gather.
  • Stop doing stupid things. This is to reduce future exposure, but some people think they're special and can get away with things. Unless they're major politicians, it doesn't work that way

What If You're Targeted?

If you become the target of doxxing, your options are limited.

  • Fight back. Doxxing the doxxer is a valid reaction, but they can be hard to track down. They also are likely to have less to lose, so it may not have much effect.
  • If the doxxer is a public figure, get a lawyer involved. You won't be able to delete anything they said or printed, but you might be able to hurt them enough financially that they stop.
  • Ignore it. If a perpetually offended idiot digs up a speeding ticket you got 20 years ago and tries to make it a hanging offence, smile and go about your life.
  • Ridicule can work if the doxxer has a sense of shame. This is becoming more rare since society is moving towards an "anything goes" mentality; a society where there are no sins will have no sense of shame. 

It's up to you to decide if doxxing is a serious threat to you. Our circumstances are all different, so take some time for self-reflection.

1 comment:

  1. The technical description for people who think they can get away with stupid things is "hubris."


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