Doxing The Cyberbullying Strategy That Makes You a Victim of The Personal Data You Share

What personal information do you share on the internet? Maybe date of birth, marital status, work, place of residence, email, religious or political interests, photos ... Maybe you entered it a long time ago in your social media profiles or in a forum without thinking too much about the risks that could entail. Good news: it's never too late to limit the public information you offer about yourself, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

There is a practice known as doxing, a form of cyberbullying that consists of using certain personal information to damage someone's reputation. Although it is true that there are those who run greater risks due to the type of work they do (journalists, activists, lawyers, law enforcement officers ...), no one is safe from being a victim of doxing. According to research conducted by Kaspersky, anyone who expresses an opinion online can be objective, especially in times of maximum political division like the ones we are living in.

Sharing information with the victim's employer, posting personal data in the media, revealing the identity of anonymous bloggers, or filtering intimate photos and videos are the most common ways to engage in this type of cyberbullying. The consequences of such acts are not read only in individual terms, as they have a great impact by questioning freedom of expression and social debate.

It is still curious that we are increasingly careful with our privacy and at the same time we believe that our life is not so interesting as to be the target of someone. Be that as it may, the best thing is to find out what is there about you on the net, delete what you can and take control of your information available online, as Kaspersky advises us. All precautions are little in the middle of a jungle in which our data can end up being products of purchase and sale on the Dark Web ...

What happens when the abuser does not understand limits? 

Threats to personal data do not end when we erase what is in our power. If the abuser is a stubborn cybercriminal he can acquire them by going to the black market. Let's not forget that, according to the Spanish Data Protection Agency, more than 1,100 security breaches have been notified throughout this year, and that stored “merchandise” is trading up on the Dark Web.

Kaspersky has re-analyzed active offerings on various international darknet markets and forums operating in English and Russian. In 2019, the cybersecurity company already exposed the prices of credit cards, email packs, online educational platforms or subscription service keys.

This year, passport scans, which cost between $ 6 and $ 15, selfies with identification documents, which cost up to $ 60, and medical records, which cost between $ 1 and $ 30, enter the scene. The most surprising figure: unauthorized access to email and social networks, which manages to reach up to $ 800. In this sense, we must be cautious with the amount and the way in which we exchange information with organizations and institutions, because although they are increasing their efforts to protect the privacy of their users, there are, as we told you, hundreds of annual gaps only in Spain .

What can we do to protect ourselves?

To great evils great remedies. Among the various tricks that we can apply to minimize the risk of theft there are some that you already know, such as using strong and different passwords for each user account. It's also essential to get in the habit of thinking twice before posting on social media and protecting devices with fingerprints or facial scanning.

Set permissions on the apps you use to reduce the likelihood of third parties sharing or storing data without your consent. Also, beware of phishing websites, which you are attracted to by an irresistible offer. By the way, we remind you of these tips to enjoy a more secure connection and encourage you to consult Kaspersky's research in detail. Surround your privacy.

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