Is it unethical to use the darknet

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The term doxing is derived from the English word “Documents” (“Docs” for short) for documents. Doxing (also Doxxing) is the targeted collection of information about people with the help of the Internet. Here, personal, often confidential data is researched with the aim of publishing it and thus embarrassing the person or harming them in other ways.

From the real names of anonymous activists to credit card details, the addresses of celebrities or sexual preferences, a wide variety of data is of interest to doxing.

What does the term doxing mean in detail?

To obtain information, the perpetrators use legal and illegal methods, such as research in social media, but also hacking online accounts or databases.

The motives for doxing can be very different:

1. Blackmail

In some cases, a doxing attack is preceded by an attempt at extortion. The victim should pay a certain sum or take certain actions so that embarrassing details from their private life or secret company data are not disclosed. If the person does not respond to the demands of the blackmailers, the data will be published as a consequence.

2. Political and social influence

It also happens that individual or allied activists gather information in order to pillory, intimidate or expose a common enemy if he appears under a pseudonym. For those who are persecuted in their country because of their political, religious or sexual convictions, the disclosure of their true identity or address can be life-threatening. But doxing is also extremely uncomfortable for public figures.

3. Bullying

Another motivation for doxing is the joy of exposing others. This can result from an alleged need for revenge or other personal reasons. Sometimes it is reported that doxing is even practiced as a kind of competition: the more famous the compromised person, the more respected the perpetrator.

Where do I come across doxing in everyday work?

You will (hopefully) rarely come across Doxing in your day-to-day work. Theoretically possible, however, is z. B .:

  • That an unethical competitor company uses doxing to harm your company.
  • That a former employee feels that you have been treated unfairly by you as an ex-employer and that he tries to take revenge through doxing.
  • That your company comes into contact with Doxing in connection with a prominent customer

What can I do to protect myself from doxing?

In general: Protect yourself as far as possible against the data collection strategies of doxing operators. Among other things, the following measures are recommended:

  • Be careful with all of the information you share on the Internet. This also applies to forums and other social media.
  • Use the most restrictive settings for privacy on social media
  • Make those around you aware of the importance that seemingly unimportant personal information can gain if it is carefully collected. Spouses, friends and acquaintances are potential sources of data in doxing.
  • Make yourself aware that online conversation partners you do not know personally can be fictional personalities with whom social engineering is carried out. Therefore, think carefully about what information you are disclosing.
  • Protect your private data and your company's data against unauthorized access, e.g. B. through hacking, phishing or Trojans.

Interesting background information

Further explanations and instructions from the Lower Saxony police on the subject of Doxing

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