Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How To Keep Yourself From Being Doxxed

Yesterday, I discussed some internet resources people use to dox others.  If you recall from yesterday's post, doxxing someone means to 'document' what you can find on the internet about someone and build a dossier on them.

Privacy Action Plan (PAP) - How to Keep Yourself from Being Doxxed
PRS - Level 3

The number one way to keep yourself from being doxxed on the internet is to keep your personal information private.  Whether you are playing online games with anonymous friends or watching youtube videos with friends on tinychat,  you should always limit the personal information you share with people unless you know them well enough to feel comfortable giving them your information.  Even little bits of information, which by themselves may not dox you, can dox you when put these pieces together with other information.  Some people like the challenge of building a dox on another person and will gather the seemingly innocuous things you say together over a period of months to build a dox on you.

Use pseudonyms for every site you register on.  There are no laws that require that you need to use your real name on any site.  If you need to make an email to register, try, which allows you to create an email address without providing an identifying information.  While it may be against the site Terms of Service to use a fake name on Facebook, it isn't illegal to do so.  And you should if you want to avoid being doxxed.  Take care in choosing an alias.  Using the fake name 'gameplayer' is far less revealing than something like James1984 if your name is James and you were born in 1984.  James1984 in and of itself isn't going to reveal much about you, but as you talk to people and they learn little bits and pieces about you, this information will become useful in a dox.  In fact, even just your IP address and James1984 would narrow down who you are to just a few possibilities without you saying anything.  If you want to use a real sounding but totally fake name and address, try

Use proxies and VPNs (virtual private networks) to hide your IP address.  I am going to have a future post on proxies and VPN's but for now I will summarize.  Proxies and VPN's allow you to browse the internet with a high level of anonymity.  The proxy acts like a shield between your computer and the internet.  Your computer communicates with the proxy server, which goes out and fetches your data and sends it back to you, (typically communications are sent from your computer and received back to you in encrypted form).  There are an abundance of free proxy server choices out there.  For simple proxies suitable for web viewing, try or look for another at  VPN's are a bit more complex but offer even greater protection.

Remove all exif data from any photos you upload to the internet.  Tomorrow, I will discuss exactly what exif data is, how it can be used to dox you and how it can be removed from your photographs.

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