DOXING ISN’T JUST ANOTHER VIRUS
While it might seem that we are getting the coronavirus under control, the same cannot be said for doxing. Doxing increasingly poses a threat to the safety and security of all online data – for individuals, enterprise, and corporates.
WHAT IS DOXING?
According to Wikipedia:
Doxing is the act of publicly revealing previously private personal information about an individual or organization, usually through the Internet.
What makes doxing possible? There are so many public online platforms such as social media channels, forums, application records and many more, that it’s relatively easy for a hacker with some know-how to steal personal information. Besides searching publicly available databases and social media sites, doxing can also be achieved through hacking and social engineering.
Almost everybody on the planet has a relationship with digital technology. We shop online, bank online, and share online. Here are three examples of how much trust we place in digital technology:
- Your kid’s smartwatch is on so you can track their location
- You innocently post photos of a party on Facebook
- You send an emotionally-driven message to friends in a WhatsApp Group
And here’s how things can go badly wrong, and if these things happen, your trust for online technology will rapidly deteriorate into distrust:
- Unwittingly, your kid is broadcasting their location to everybody 24/7, potentially making them a target for predators
- Your Facebook images surface online in the public domain for all and sundry to see and exploit
- A disgruntled friend forwards your WhatsApp message, claiming that it’s racist and offensive
TECHNOLOGY SHOULD IMPROVE OUR LIVES
Digital risks aside, it’s unlikely that people are going to stop sharing or expressing themselves online. But for technology to work for us and improve our mental wellbeing, we need to learn how to treat online personal data responsibly. Treat it in the same way that you would your family and friends, your finances and your personal belongings.
Here are some questions to ask that will help you to stay safe from doxing:
- How do you manage and secure data that you cannot control?
- How do you monitor browsing activity and application tracking?
- Do you install and manage appropriate privacy tools?
- Do you use password managers or privacy-enabling browser extensions?
Anna Larkina, a senior security expert at Kaspersky, says:
“With our lives being so intertwined with the digital world, it is not wonder that we face online threats so regularly. Tools for self-expression can also be used against us, with doxing continuing to gain popularity as a way to punish and hurt people. Unfortunately, it is not possible to control everything that exists online about us, but it is definitely a good idea to take some steps towards it. To keep one’s data safe and alleviate the risks, we need to become mindful about who we share our data with and how, and to take certain precautions in order to keep control over it.”