While “doxxing” has been around since the 1990s, in recent years, doxxing attacks have become increasingly common, with celebrities and laypeople alike falling victim.
This article, by Pixel Privacy, goes into detail about what doxxing is and its real-life consequences. In addition, it explains how you can protect yourself from doxxing attacks.
What Exactly Is Doxxing?
“Doxxing” is when someone finds personal information about someone else, usually an internet user, and publishes it online for the world to see. That’s why it’s called “doxxing” – referring to “documents,” shortened to “doc” and then changed to “dox.”
The information that’s published can include the real name, home address, email address, telephone number, photos, and other personal information of the victim, leading to attacks that can move from the online world to the physical one.
Why Does Doxxing Occur?
The motivations behind doxxing can vary, but there are two main reasons: “vigilante justice” and revenge.
When it comes to vigilante justice, there are multiple examples of suspected Neo-Nazis being outed on the internet and losing their jobs. However, unfortunately, doxxing is not an exact science, and many innocent people have become victims of hate mail and in-person and online harassment.
When it comes to revenge, sometimes someone does something in the online world that, rightfully or wrongfully, angers someone else. In these cases, doxxing can occur in order to hurt the real person who did the “offending” act, hurting their reputation, sanity, security or worse.
Examples of both reasons for doxxing are presented in the next section.