About Doxing

Doxing basics

Doxing is when someone gathers your personal information, usually to release it, or sometimes for coercion or intimidation. It can range from identifying the real name behind an online alias to sharing someone's address and social security number. The motivations for doxing include "vigilante justice", blackmail, and stalking.

Doxing is usually performed by connecting disparate pieces of information from a variety of sources, often including public information from the internet. In some cases, the doxer already knows someone's private information, and simply chooses to release it.

Who gets doxed

Doxing hasn't been well-measured and its frequency is uncertain. Surveys show that anywhere from 5% - 50% of people have been doxed. Online harassment, which can lead to doxing, is on the rise.

Doxing can range from annoying to embarrassing to dangerous. Many people wish to be anonymous online, and wouldn't be happy for their online and offline activities to be linked. For others with sensitive jobs or beliefs, being doxed can invite violence and harassment. Many victims of doxing have been murdered or committed suicide.

Doxing isn't always malicious. Someone who knows your true identity might give away too much accidentally or because they don't know you're trying to maintain privacy.

There are no laws in the United States to prevent doxing. Laws around the rest of the world are sparse.

Examples of doxing

Here are some examples of doxing. Click each heading below to learn more.

Online dating

You have an online dating profile that includes your first name, your city and a picture of yourself. Someone takes your picture and runs it through a reverse image search where it shows up as your work picture on your job's website along with your first and last name. Now that they have your full name they can use people-search sites to find your address, phone number and relatives.

Forum user

You get into a lively political discussion on an online forum. Unknown to you, someone else took it a little too seriously. They decide to comb through all of your posts to figure out who you are and where you live.

They notice that you post on a forum dedicated to your city and a forum dedicated to the school you graduated from. They also see that you work in a particular industry. By searching for companies in your city that match your line of work, they find a page on your employer's website that lists everyone along with where they went to school, and they find your name. With your name and city, they can find more about you on a people-search site.

Celebrity or politician

This is all real.

Shia LeBeouf puts up a flag to send a political message. Its location is discovered, and political opponents show up. The flag is moved in secret, and at its new location, a video of just the flag and the sky are streamed online. The political opponents see planes in the sky and match them up with public flight radar, see stars and match them up with star maps, and drive around honking to place the location precisely via the video stream's audio. They find the flag and replace it with their own.

At work

You're a prominent union organizer at work. A coworker who opposes the union and happens to know where you live decides to share your address online and encourages people to protest at your home.

How EasyOptOuts can help

We opt you out of the most prominent people-search sites sharing and selling your information without your consent. Removing your data makes it more difficult for someone to link your online information like your username with your offline personal information like your name or address. Signing up takes just a few minutes. We handle the rest!