Don’t get Doxxed!
The sad truth about the Internet is that it is the greatest tool for good … and evil. Let’s face it; the Internet has put everybody’s business in the street. And for black people that is simply not a game we play.
The word “doxx” is one of those techno-words that actually means something. Its means “dropping documents”. The word entered the modern lexicon first as a verb about ten years ago. It refers to a malicious hacker’s act of collecting personal and private information, including home addresses, email, phone numbers, social security numbers and other personal financial information and sometimes even personal medical information. The data is released publicly often on some social media site where as many eyes as possible can see it. It is the digital equivalent of being dropped off naked in the street. Sometimes before the doxxing the victim is extorted by the hacker. This activity is obviously frowned upon by users of the Internet, social media and most decent people. But the act is not solely that of a skilled hacker. People have been doxxed by ex-lovers, former friends and even angry co-workers.
Doxxing could be considered a form of bullying but is closer to terrorism. It is far more dangerous since the victims total identity is being thrown out on the Internet. Doxxing frequently goes hand-in-hand with threats of violence, sexual assault or murder. Those animals that do the doxxing want their victims to know; we know all about you,where you live and we’re out to get you. Some women in the technology industry have left their chosen profession rather than deal with continued threats. This is especially so in the gaming industry where a major problem has exploded into a scandal known as Gamersgate that is targeting female game developers.
For a person who is married with a family the danger increases tenfold as they now have to be concerned about the safety of their family.
Women have especially been targeted by hackers and others who have doxxed them. Often times it is the result of a failed relationship. A spurned lover or spouse may decide the best way to get even is to tell everything they know about the person online. Sometimes the scorned lover will post compromising images and even reveal details about the woman’s sexuality and sexual activity. This is known as revenge porn and is a common threat to women online. Needless to say this can be extremely humiliating.
Not only are ordinary women being victimized by doxxing but you can find plenty of celebrities being doxxed as well including JayZ and Beyonce. A skilled hacker will invade a victim’s email or hack personal devices. We have seen the results of those hackers who stole images of Gabrielle Union and Jill Scott.
Few people understand just how much information can be found about them online. Not just public information but plenty of private and personal information as well. And a really good hacker can find even more information about a person. African-Americans are as sensitive about our personal information as any one else. But we display a bit more anger when we believe our private affairs have been compromised. In other words we don’t like anyone in our business. So displaying personal information online is a reason to really flip. But for people who want to make sure their business stays their business there is something you can do.
Computerworld.com has released an extensive list of data brokers who allow you to remove your personal info. It includes instructions how to do it and how long it takes. It may take some time and work but you can reduce the amount of information about you on the Internet. You may not be able to remove it all but with these sites you can get a good start and possibly avoid being doxxed.
Now you know.