What is doxing and how do you protect yourself?

The internet is used for a variety of purposes, both good and evil. Due to the high incidence of cybercrime performed on the internet, it is not regarded as a secure medium for sharing very sensitive information. Unfortunately, many individuals continue to fall victim to hackers because of their excessive online sharing of information.

Online information may be used against you in a variety of ways, one of which is doxing. This essay will discuss doxing: what it is and how to defend yourself against it.

What is doxing?

Doxing is one of a plethora of cybercrimes perpetrated on the internet. It is an act in which cybercriminals collect private information about internet users from various web sources and make it publicly available. These facts may be published on any random website or online platform, where they can be seen and used by anybody.

The term “doxing” was coined from the term “document,” which is often abbreviated as “docs.” When hackers conduct a dox attack, they target private information such as a person’s name, email address, phone number, address, bank information, and even images. It’s almost as if you’re compiling the contents of someone’s curriculum vitae. The primary objective is to use the information to implicate the true owner.

Doxing is harmful because it exposes individuals to danger. Frequently, it is utilized for political benefit in order to hurt opponents. Hackers who dox do it for no monetary gain; their conduct is only for the purpose of causing damage by disclosing people’s anonymous identities.

How do hackers commit doxxing?

Doxing is one of the most straightforward cybercrimes since it entails the collection of private information. As a result, any hacker may commit this crime; it does not need advanced knowledge of information technology or coding languages. The doxing process is divided into two stages: collecting and publishing.

The term “collection” refers to the act of acquiring private information, while “publication” refers to the process of making such information publicly available. Hackers who dox get the majority of their information from the following sources:

  • Social Media Sites: When it comes to doxing, social media platforms are the primary target of hackers. Despite the risks, many social media users continue to post their personal information on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They reveal personal information such as their true names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses, as well as the identities of their family members.
  • Websites and blogs: When individuals visit websites and blogs on the internet, they sometimes disclose their private information. Some of these websites are operated by hackers, while others may be insecure, making it possible for hackers to steal information shared on them. Your IP address, which is disclosed when you access a website, is sufficient for hackers to get your personal information.
  • Address and telephone directories are available both online and offline. Individuals contribute their information to these directories, and if hackers get access to them, they may steal this information.
  • Social engineering: Some hackers impersonate reputable individuals online and trick users into providing personal information to them. Social engineering is a frequently used technique by hackers to get information.

How can you defend yourself against doxing?

Nobody wants to be doxed, given how hazardous and detrimental it is. As a result, it is critical to understand how to defend oneself from this kind of cybercrime. The following suggestions will assist you:

Reduce your internet information sharing

This is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from doxing — provide less information. You are not required to provide all of your personal information online whenever requested. Optimize your social media accounts and make them as private as feasible.

Your sensitive information, like your phone number, email address, and home address, should be hidden from the public. If you like commenting on strange blogs and forums, you may use a fictitious identity and email address to do so.

Utilize a VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) protect against doxing since they ensure your online anonymity. Not all VPNs are effective; only the greatest VPNs are effective, and one such VPN is NordVPN.

You should use NordVPN since it has the ability to disguise your genuine IP address. It masks your IP address with that of other countries, preventing hackers from accessing it when you browse online. Additionally, the VPN employs powerful encryption technology to guarantee that no third party may access the information you transmit online.

Protect your WHOIS information

This is true for individuals who operate websites and blogs on the internet. Typically, when you acquire a hosting or domain name from a vendor, your contact information is sent to the WHOIS database. When your domain is searched on the WHOIS website, your personal information such as your name, email address, phone number, and address is shown.

Hackers may get this, and if they do, you risk being doxed. WHOIS protection safeguards your information by preventing it from being shown when your domain is searched. Domain vendors do provide WHOIS protection, which you should take advantage of if you operate a website.

Utilize safe passwords

This is a constant topic of discussion when it comes to internet security. To prevent being hacked, you should use safe passwords. When your online account is compromised, your private information is exposed to hackers. They are free to do anything they want with it, including doxing you. Ensure that your passwords are strong and unique.


You now understand what doxing is and how to avoid it. At all times, you should take precautions to safeguard your online safety.

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