Doxxing is when your personal information like your address, telephone number etc., are published online by others, openly inviting online members to harass you using this information.
Why should we be concerned?
Your personal information is made public with some false accusations against you and instigating others to harass you online, your privacy is intruded upon and you are put through humiliating and harrowing experience, causing social stigma.
Few pointers / warning signs to indicate that the person is affected
- Signs of anxiety, depression, strong reactions, mood swings etc.,
- Feeling anxious and stressed when checking mobile
- Isolating self and behaving secretively
How can we safeguard ourselves against this offence?
Doxxing can cause nightmare experience, as your social and public image is tarnished with rumors by the perpetrator. Mentioned below are few measures to secure yourself against such incidents.
Do not share your personal information like address, mobile number, personal mail id etc., online publicly/ openly.
- Use two factor authentication with strong passwords and different passwords for different your social media accounts.
- Use VPN while using internet for encrypting your data and protect your IP address.
- Save the evidence and the screen shots for referring to the incident later.
What action can you take in case you find yourself affected by online Doxxing?
a) Register a complaint at your nearest cyber crime police station
b) You also have the option to register an online complaint on cybercrime.gov.in anonymously also.
C) Report about it to the social media account help center
Know about what the law says with regard to this offence?
It is a punishable offence and can attract section 354 (D), 509 of IPC and Sec. 67 of IT Act is also applicable.
In India, there is no law in place to prevent and/or punish doxxing directly, though there are laws in place against voyeurism (Section 354C IPC and IT Act), divulging sexually explicit content (The IT Act) and obscene content (Section 292 IPC), defamation (Section 499 IPC) and online stalking (Section 354D IPC). Doxxing violates our Right to Privacy (A Fundamental Right) and threatens our Right to Dignity (Article 21 – Constitution of India), and subjects us to harassment and places us in danger directly – all the more reason for doxxing to become a criminal offence in India.