Internet safety is one of the primary forms of personal security, especially in today’s day and age, where most of your time is spent online. It is crucial to maintain the little semblances of privacy you have left. After all, this ensures that your personal data is limited to yourself and not in the hands of a cyberattacker, ready to sell it on the dark web. It’s because of security breaches like these that terms like ‘doxxing’ and ‘swatting’ have started to make the rounds.
But what exactly is doxxing? And what’s swatting? If you want to know more, continue reading this blog.
What is Doxxing?
Finding its roots in the deep, dark world of cybercrime, doxxing comes from the notion of ‘dropping dox.’ It’s an act where someone is targeted online and harassed by having their private information leaked to the public. This includes their full name, age, address, and other tidbits of their personal life.
Where once it was a revenge tactic used by notorious hackers to out their rivals, it is now used today by petty teens and immature adults. By participating in an online argument, opposing someone could lead to such potential dangers. Whether it’s about disagreeing on something as silly as the color of the sky or cooking for your neighbors, cybercriminals can dox you over the smallest thing. This is precisely why it’s necessary to limit the information you share online.
What is Swatting?
An extension of doxxing is swatting. And no, this has nothing to do with waving off a fly. The reality is much more gruesome.
When an individual’s personal information is leaked online, the attackers can prank call the police or the SWAT team. They do this by filing a report stating they fear an armed and dangerous person is at the leaked address. They then ask for a SWAT team to surround the address under the pretense of fake bomb threats.
The police, not knowing any better, show up at the poor victim’s house. This can lead to wrongful arrests and, in other instances, something much more deadly.
How to Handle Getting Doxxed or Swatted
If you suspect you or someone you know is getting doxxed online, do not take it lightly. Report to your local and state police. Tell them about your concerns and that you are being targeted online. Moreover, you can also hire a private detective to help figure out who the doxxers are.
If any swatting calls are made against you, the PI will be able to determine the intensity of the situation. This will help you gather all the evidence you need to go against cyber attackers.
Rather than getting scared or cowering away, take the challenge headstrong. However, it’s important to keep your distance from the attackers. That is to say, if they’re reaching out to you and tempting you, do not respond. As easy as it is to get provoked, it’s better to stay silent. Just collect the texts or online messages you’re getting and forward them to the police as well as your PI. The authorities will then take care of everything.
All in all, doxxing and swatting are terrible forms of online harassment and cybercrime. Rather than letting it slide, it is crucial to reach out to the authorities. You can hire a private investigator or a personal security guard if you feel like you’re getting doxxed.
Contact Western Eagle for personal security services at (281) 496-6800. Or, if you’d like to visit our office, you can find us at 11201 Richmond Ave. #108, Houston, TX 77082, right in Westchase Corporate Park.