What is Doxxing?

Doxxing is the collection and distribution of someone’s personal information on the internet by an unauthorized individual, usually with malicious intent. The personal information can be gathered from multiple platforms and can include contact information, location, information about friends and family members, images or videos, etc. The information is typically published in an attempt to shame or embarrass the user or to expose them to online, or sometimes in-person, harassment.

Typically, doxxing is conducted by scanning open source social media, web pages, public databases, hacking, or through social engineering (phishing scams, etc.).  It started as a way for individuals on the internet to expose people who were misrepresenting themselves in public forms, but more recently has started to be reported in cases where it is being used to attack and harass individuals who express opposing view on contentious topics.

How to Protect Yourself from Doxxing

Protecting yourself from being doxxed is essential in today’s digital age. Here are some steps you can take to safeguard your personal information:

  1. Avoid sharing personal information (home address, phone number, personal ID, license plate, etc.) on public platforms, including social media.
  2. Regularly review and update the privacy settings on your social media accounts, email accounts, and other online platforms. Sometime mobile and platform updates can alter your existing settings without your knowledge! So get in the habit of checking these regularly.
  3. Create strong, unique passwords for each of your online accounts. If needed, use a secure password tracker to maintain these.
  4. Wherever two-factor authentication is possible, use it! It adds an extra layer of security to your accounts by requiring a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone, in addition to your chosen password, and makes it much harder for your account to be hacked.
  5. Be mindful of using publicly available Wi-Fi, especially for conducting any kind of secure transaction, or even for logging into your ACORN account!
  6. Beware of phishing emails and scam attempts. There a lot of scams out there that will ask you to fill out forms that are used to mine your personal information. Check out our resource on phishing to familiarize yourself with tips for identifying phishing attempts.
  7. Google yourself! You might be surprised what you find… Regularly searching for your name and other personal information online can help you to monitor if any of your personal information is publicly available. If you find anything, take steps to have it removed by reporting it.
  8. Consider using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that can encrypt your internet connection and help protect your online privacy by masking your IP address and location.
  9. Think before you post! The internet has a long memory. Once something is posted, it can be difficult to completely erase it from the internet. Be mindful of the information you share online, including photos, opinions, and personal details and consider removing location tags from any posts about places that you frequent with regularity.
  10. Software updates! Devices and platforms are constantly updating their security features to respond to new ways that their systems are trying to be exploited. Regularly updating your operating system, web browsers, and security software helps you prevent having system vulnerabilities exploited.
  11. Consider using a pseudonym or a variation of your name for your social media accounts or online personas. That can make it harder for others to connect your online presence to your real identity.
  12. Be wary of granting permissions to third-party apps. For apps that you decide you need, review the access terms and only grant necessary permissions. Remember to delete apps and revoke access if you no longer need them.

Have you Been Doxxed? Or Threatened with Doxxing?

We can help.

Contact us at to request a consultation with a case manager about your concerns. They can help you to identify your reporting options and to make a plan for addressing the issue.

If you feel you are in danger please contact your Campus Safety Special Constable Service or call 9-1-1.