Parents all over the world want to keep the identities and personal information of their children safe from malicious actors. From using parental control features to teaching them about the dangers of identity theft, parents take a lot of measures to protect their children in the digital world.
However, they’re helpless when someone else leaks the personal information of children on purpose over the internet. Known as doxing, the scary threat revolves around finding and leaking someone else’s personal information online.
While parents can’t do much about the fact that some people stoop so low to harm or harass others, experts at VPNgeniX share some tips parents can practice helping their children stay safe from doxing. But first, what is doxing, and why is it so dangerous?
What is Doxing?
When someone is doxed, it means their personal information has been leaked online. It could include their real name, address, and photos. Revealing private details in the digital era can put children in danger.
Many cyberbullies use doxing to blackmail children into illegal activities. Online video gaming or viral social media posts can increase the threat of doxing. Sometimes the doxers get triggered by differing opinions on sensitive topics, but mostly the reasons for attacking can be wide-ranking.
However, the information can incite others to use it for stalking, harassment, identity theft, death threats, swatting, and other cybercrimes. In the past, many cases have led to mental trauma, murder, and suicide.
How to Stay Safe From Doxing
Educate your children about the perils of doxing by discussing the consequences of their information being leaked online. Teach them about good cyber hygiene and remind them to share responsibly and keep photos private so they’re protected from prying eyes.
Aside from cybercriminals or hackers, anyone with access to their social media page can share or save the information without their knowledge and without any particularly wrong intentions.
Make sure you monitor your children’s online activity and keep an eye on all the apps they use to communicate. Sometimes you need to set limits for rebellious teenagers who are still growing and learning. But even when you’ve got the most responsible child, monitor what they’re up to without invading their privacy too much.
Sometimes doxers start with seemingly harmless information to connect to children. Therefore, it’s recommended that you check all the information shared publically on their profiles while encouraging them to use different usernames on different platforms.
Once the doxer tracks down an account, they can reveal information by putting together some puzzle pieces. It’s possible that they gain access to one of the accounts to impersonate your child and dig out more information about your child.
Periodically look up your child’s usernames, names, and information visible about them on search engines. Report inappropriate or incorrect information and ask the child to update their profiles by removing some confidential information to keep them safe.
Another important way to stay safe from doxing is to encourage the use of a VPN. It prevents bad actors from finding your IP address whenever they go online. VPNs hide the IP addresses of users by sending traffic through encrypted servers. This means anyone trying to discover your child’s IP address will get a VPN IP address instead, which is likely shared among a multitude of other users.
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