What is Doxing?
Doxing (sometimes spelt Doxxing) is the act of releasing personally identifiable information about someone online, such as their true name, home address, workplace, phone number, bank information, and other personal information. That information is then made public without the victim’s knowledge.
What is Personal Identifiable Information (PII):
- Mobile number
- Date of birth
- Personal address information: street address, or email address
- Permanent Account Number (PAN)
- Aadhar Card Number
- Biometric identifier
- Passport number
- Driver’s license number (DL)
- Taxpayer identification number
- Patient identification number
- Financial account numbers
- Credit card number
- Debit card Number
Why do hackers adopt doxing techniques?
Because of the high demand for personally identifiable information in the real world, the Deep web and Dark web.
Why should we be concerned?
Your personal information is made public, and others are encouraged to harass you online, invading your privacy and subjecting you to embarrassing and traumatic experiences, inflicting social disgrace.
A few indicators / warning signals that the person is afflicted:
- Symptoms of anxiety, sadness, strong responses, mood fluctuations, and so forth
- Anxiety and stress when checking mobile
- Isolating oneself and acting secretively
How can we protect ourselves from Doxing?
- Doxing may be a horrible experience, as the culprit tarnishes your social and public reputation with rumours. Listed below are a few precautions you may take to protect yourself from such events
- Do not publicly/openly publish your personal information online, such as your address, cellphone number, personal email address, and so on
- Use two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and unique passwords for each of your social media accounts
- When surfing the internet, use a VPN to encrypt your data and protect your IP address
- Keep the proof and screen images in case you need to refer back to the incident later
What steps can you take if you are the victim of online Doxing?
- File a report at the local cybercrime police station. Or on https://cybercrime.gov.in/
- You can also file an anonymous online complaint at cybercrime.gov.in
- Inform the social media account service centre about it
Do you know what the law says about this offence?
It is a penal offence punishable under sections 354 (D), 509 of the IPC, and Section 67 of the IT Act.
There is no formal legislation in India to prohibit and/or penalise doxing, while there are laws against voyeurism (Section 354C IPC and IT Act), revealing sexually explicit and filthy material (Section 292 IPC), defamation (Section 499 IPC), and internet stalking (Section 354D IPC). Doxing infringes our right to privacy (a fundamental right) and undermines our right to dignity (Article 21 of the Indian Constitution), as well as subjecting us to harassment and directly putting us in risk – all the more reason for doxing to be made a criminal offence in India.