Doxing yourself

Jared Traveler

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Doxing someone is when you learn about them though public, open source information. This could be information on social media platforms, by googling them, and many other ways.

What got me thinking about this was some comments in another thread about bumper stickers. These could be military service bumper stickers, martial arts related bumper stickers, or things relating to where your kids go to school or whatever.

A part of my job at times is to dox a client to see what other can easily learn about them. I am usually able to figure out where they went to school, hobbies, level of education, obtain pictures of their house, workplace, family members and so on.

Have you ever googled yourself from someone elses computer? Do you know what info is out there about you?

Do you value your privacy or is it not a big deal that info is potentially out there about you?
 

skribs

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This reminds me of the "RealID" scandal that Blizzard Entertainment had around 2010.

Blizzard realized that their World of Warcraft forums were filled with a lot of toxicity. They felt that the anonymity of the forum was being used as a shield by trolls to hide behind, and so the solution was to roll out RealID that uses the name on your credit card, and then require you to use your RealID to post on the forums.

The community absolutely hated this idea, and let it be known. There were many calls in the community to boycott the forums, and almost as many to boycott the game itself.

One Blizzard employee took it upon himself to ease the community and say it's not that big a deal. So he posted his real name.

Within minutes, the community replied to that post with the following information:
  • His SSN
  • His salary
  • His car make, model, and license plate #
  • His wife's name, and all of the above information for her
  • Many answers to common security questions, such as his mother's maiden name
  • His kids names and pictures and where they went to school
An hour later, Blizzard announced they were scrapping the plan to require RealID, and that people could continue to post anonymously.
 

skribs

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This reminds me of the "RealID" scandal that Blizzard Entertainment had around 2010.

Blizzard realized that their World of Warcraft forums were filled with a lot of toxicity. They felt that the anonymity of the forum was being used as a shield by trolls to hide behind, and so the solution was to roll out RealID that uses the name on your credit card, and then require you to use your RealID to post on the forums.

The community absolutely hated this idea, and let it be known. There were many calls in the community to boycott the forums, and almost as many to boycott the game itself.

One Blizzard employee took it upon himself to ease the community and say it's not that big a deal. So he posted his real name.

Within minutes, the community replied to that post with the following information:
  • His SSN
  • His salary
  • His car make, model, and license plate #
  • His wife's name, and all of the above information for her
  • Many answers to common security questions, such as his mother's maiden name
  • His kids names and pictures and where they went to school
An hour later, Blizzard announced they were scrapping the plan to require RealID, and that people could continue to post anonymously.
I knew I was forgetting something: his home address.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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At one point, it was very important to me due to my work. I had not used even my first name anywhere (including here), except facebook where I had a private account and used a fake last name. If I thought someone found my account I did not want to, I was trigger-happy with nuking/rebuilding accounts. Googled myself and made sure my home address and family weren't listed in any of those online books. Only things about me were from fencing/martial arts tournaments in high school/college, along with some clubs I was in on my college pages, which I was fine with.

After I switched careers, I was still focused on it for a year or so, but at this point I'm not nearly as concerned, especially as I've moved almost a thousand miles from where I was working before the career switch. I think I'm fairly safe and no longer make enemies I have to be concerned about.
 
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Jared Traveler

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At one point, it was very important to me due to my work. I had not used even my first name anywhere (including here), except facebook where I had a private account and used a fake last name. If I thought someone found my account I did not want to, I was trigger-happy with nuking/rebuilding accounts. Googled myself and made sure my home address and family weren't listed in any of those online books. Only things about me were from fencing/martial arts tournaments in high school/college, along with some clubs I was in on my college pages, which I was fine with.

After I switched careers, I was still focused on it for a year or so, but at this point I'm not nearly as concerned, especially as I've moved almost a thousand miles from where I was working before the career switch. I think I'm fairly safe and no longer make enemies I have to be concerned about.
You mentioned family members, that's good to check. Many people are doxed through association. What Grandma posts about you for instance.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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You mentioned family members, that's good to check. Many people are doxed through association. What Grandma posts about you for instance.
Had to actually block my aunt on facebook after trying to explain this to her numerous times. She'd do things like posting pictures of us at christmas and tagging my fake name.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Doxing someone is when you learn about them though public, open source information. This could be information on social media platforms, by googling them, and many other ways.

What got me thinking about this was some comments in another thread about bumper stickers. These could be military service bumper stickers, martial arts related bumper stickers, or things relating to where your kids go to school or whatever.

A part of my job at times is to dox a client to see what other can easily learn about them. I am usually able to figure out where they went to school, hobbies, level of education, obtain pictures of their house, workplace, family members and so on.

Have you ever googled yourself from someone elses computer? Do you know what info is out there about you?

Do you value your privacy or is it not a big deal that info is potentially out there about you?
I stream PC games and have had a couple of public businesses. If someone cant figure out who and where I am, they arent trying very hard.

Finding my exact address would be a little harder, but only because theyd probably need the spelling of Marias last name.
 

jmf552

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If you are really concerned about privacy, you dont want to be on forums like this one.

Im on a prepper forum where some guy was talking about how OPSEC he was online, trying to sound all tacticool. Just based on his previous posts on that site, I figured out his name, where he worked and where he lived, in about 15 minutes. I didnt dox him but I described to him what I found out and if he didnt believe me, I would PM him what I learned. He did not reply.

I personally dont care. I watch my financial info carefully, but the rest I dont care about.
 

Rich Parsons

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Doxing someone is when you learn about them though public, open source information. This could be information on social media platforms, by googling them, and many other ways.

What got me thinking about this was some comments in another thread about bumper stickers. These could be military service bumper stickers, martial arts related bumper stickers, or things relating to where your kids go to school or whatever.

A part of my job at times is to dox a client to see what other can easily learn about them. I am usually able to figure out where they went to school, hobbies, level of education, obtain pictures of their house, workplace, family members and so on.

Have you ever googled yourself from someone elses computer? Do you know what info is out there about you?

Do you value your privacy or is it not a big deal that info is potentially out there about you?

I do this occasionally.
I also have details that are difficult yet not impossible to find.
Even using a valid company discount site, while working for the company their third party that searches for details for one to verify, would provide me details about other people with my name. Even if I waited 90 minutes and got new questions.
.
So when companies who get paid to match have a difficult time, I know I am a little better than some.
.
That being said, I have Facebook, and Linkedin and also here. All with my real name. Been that way for a long time.
.
Yes it is good to be aware.
 

skribs

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I'm fortunate enough to not have a need for anonymity so I'm pretty open about my identity online. It helps keep me accountable - I don't say things online that I wouldn't say to someone's face or that I would be embarrassed to have come up in a job interview.
I used to be like that. Then I realized that the people I were talking to weren't affording me the same courtesy.

I used to try and treat people like they were a fellow student at my school. But then I realized we aren't. If people treat me with respect on here, I treat them with respect. I also try to start off respectful with someone I don't know. But if I don't see that being echoed, I'm not just going to be walked over.
 

JowGaWolf

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Have you ever googled yourself from someone elses computer? Do you know what info is out there about you?

Do you value your privacy or is it not a big deal that info is potentially out there about you?
I value my privacy but it's measured. Somethings are private and somethings aren't. Everything is measured. There's a big difference between being private and invisible. Private to some people means people don't know anything. Private to me has always meant that people know some things but not the things I want to keep private.

For me being invisible is not healthy.
 
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Jared Traveler

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I value my privacy but it's measured. Somethings are private and somethings aren't. Everything is measured. There's a big difference between being private and invisible. Private to some people means people don't know anything. Private to me has always meant that people know some things but not the things I want to keep private.

For me being invisible is not healthy.
For many, the great struggle of our time isn't good vs evil, it's Convince vs Security. And it's okay to lean to the convince side for most people.

With that said, knowing what's out there about you can suddenly become very important. Having that self awareness is important.
 

JowGaWolf

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For many, the great struggle of our time isn't good vs evil, it's Convince vs Security. And it's okay to lean to the convince side for most people.

With that said, knowing what's out there about you can suddenly become very important. Having that self awareness is important.
Everything I say online is what I would say in person. Stolen or shared email and other data is out of my control. It will happen. I don't share my personal life through social media. It's either Kung Fu or me reaching out to a friend, or business. Even the "black experience" stuff that I share in here is small in comparison to the rest my personal life.

The most I can do is monitor the info and make adjustments as needed. I do this not to keep things private as much as to prevent something bad from getting much worse. As far as "Convenience vs Security", I think that's a false choice. There are ways to have both. I think the biggest issue may be more along the lines of "How much privacy are we willing to give up" for the services that we want. GPS doesn't work without one's location. If you are using an app then it requires you to give up more personal information than what you would if used a tomtom. My tomtom doesn't know who is using it or what car it's in. I can't say the same about waze or google maps.
 

Tigerwarrior

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I think everyone is guilty of having a slip up every once in a while privacy wise. No matter how hard you hide your address or personal info, if someone wants to find you bad enough in the USA they can. That's not to say we shouldn't try to make it harder for them. My goal is to make it hard to be found by enemies or criminals, but there's only a handful of ways you could totally vanish off the radar and be not able to be found or have information about yourself out there.
 
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