Doxing: Techniques Used, How to Know Your Risk of Being Doxed

Doxxing, often known as "doxing," is the act of disclosing personal information about another person online, including their proper name, address, phone number, and financial and other details. Without the victim's consent, the public is then given access to that information.

Recently, doxing has been used as a weapon in the culture wars, with hostile hackers doxing people who support the opposing side. Doxers try to take their online conflict with targets into the physical world by disclosing information such as −

  • Home addresses

  • Workplace details

  • Personal phone numbers

  • Social security numbers

  • Bank account or credit card information

  • Private correspondence

  • Criminal history

  • Personal photos

  • Embarrassing personal details

Techniques Used in Doxing

In this section, let's check the techniques that are normally used in Doxing −

Packet Sniffing

Sometimes, doxing is discussed in terms of packet sniffing. This refers to doxers intercepting your internet traffic and searching for anything they can find, including old emails, credit card numbers, bank account information, and passwords. Doxers accomplish this by establishing a connection to a network online, breaking through its security measures, and capturing the data entering and leaving the network. Using a VPN is one method of preventing packet snooping.

IP logging

Doxers can access your IP address, which is connected to your location, via various techniques. Once they do, they can utilize your internet service provider (ISP) as a means of social engineering to learn more about you. For instance, someone could try to break into the network or submit complaints about the IP address's owner.

Reverse cellphone lookup

Hackers might learn more about you after they get your cellphone number. For instance, you may enter a mobile phone number or any other phone number into reverse phone lookup services like Whitepages to learn who owns the number.

Social media stalking

If your social media accounts are out to the public, anyone can cyberstalk you to learn more about you. They can easily find your location, workplace, friends, photos, likes and dislikes, places you have visited, the names of your family members, and so on. Using this information, a doxer may find the answers to your security questions − which would help them break into other online accounts.

Studying government records

A fair amount of information can be found on government websites, even though most personal records are not accessible online. Examples of databases that contain personal information are company license databases, county records, marriage license databases, DMV records, and voter registration logs.


Phishing emails are a standard tool used by hackers to acquire your personal data. Frequently, they will send you an email that appears to be from your bank, credit card company, or another service provider. You could be asked to click a link in the email to stop your account from being closed down. It could also state that your account has seen unusual activity, as detected by the bank or credit card company. The email may request that you click on a link to see this shady conduct.

If the person uses an insecure email account or falls victim to a phishing scam, the hacker can uncover sensitive emails and post them online.

Following your username

Many users share the same login among numerous services. This makes it possible for potential doxers better to understand the target's interests and online behavior.

Data brokers

Data brokers are businesses that gather information about people and then sell it for a profit. Publicly accessible records, loyalty cards, online search history, and information from other data brokers are some sources from which data brokers obtain their information. Many data brokers sell the information they collect for advertising, while a number of people-search websites provide thorough records about people for just a few dollars. A doxer only needs to pay this modest cost to get all the information they need to dox someone.

Examples of Doxing

These three categories are likely to encompass the most frequent doxing scenarios −

  • Online publication of a person's private, identifying information.

  • Internet disclosure of personal data that had previously been unknown.

  • Online information disclosure on a private person could harm their reputation and the reputations of their friends, family, and coworkers.

How to know Your Risk of Being Doxed?

Anyone could become a victim of a doxing assault because so much of our personal information is dispersed across numerous digital channels.

The following is a list of the typical techniques doxers employ to set up their doxing attacks. To obtain a general notion of the amount of cybersecurity you would need to protect both your business and yourself, you can utilize these strategies to check for your personal information.

Search Your Name in Google

Information about your private life that you wish to remain private might be posted on university websites, social networking platforms, or websites of previous employers. Doxxers typically start here since a name search reveals how much more work is needed to recover personal information. You can request that Google remove any information you uncover that is in the public domain by filling out a form.

Search Your Domain Name in ICANN Lookup

Unless domain owners have set up privacy protection with their web host, ICANN Lookup reveals the proprietors of any domain name. Ask your web host to keep your registration information private if this search engine may access your personal information.

Check the Level of Transparency in Social Media Accounts

Cybercriminals frequently target social media accounts because traditional cybersecurity techniques haven't yet mastered this new dangerous landscape. Search for your social network accounts using an incognito browser and without logging in. If too much information is made public, you should change your privacy settings.

Check If Third Parties Can Enter Your Network Traffic

Network traffic analysis is done through packet sniffing. Cybercriminals might access private information transmission in a network via packet sniffing techniques. To ascertain the degree of private network visibility accessible to unauthorized packet sniffers, utilize the free packet sniffing application Wireshark. A VPN should be set up to prevent packet sniffers from gaining access to too much important network data.

Reverse Search Your Mobile Number

Employers can use reverse mobile phone lookup services to assist with conducting background checks on potential hires. The relatives and addresses of people of interest can also be found using them. It's hardly surprising that phone search services may be utilized as a doxing tool, given the significant amount of private information that could be made available.

The most widely used reverse phone number service is Whitepages. Whitepages charges a fee to show more detailed information on a person who has been searched for than just the city and state connected to a phone number. These prices are worthwhile to understand the extent of personal information that could be obtained when your mobile number is searched.

How to Reduce the Risks of being Doxed?

Specific strategies could make it harder to get your personal information, making doxing attempts more challenging. Some are listed below −

  • Remove Your Data rrom Data Broker Websites

  • A service's terms and conditions should be read before registering for any online services

  • Set Up Google Alerts for Your Personal Data.

  • Use a VPN

  • Make Wise Decisions Online