Step Two: Search for yourself
Doxing occurs when someone publishes private or identifying information on the internet, such as home addresses, phone numbers, or social security numbers. It is a tactic used to make individuals feel unsafe, extort them or make them vulnerable to other attacks such as stalking. Doxxing is easier than ever due to the fact that so much of our information is online. (Learn more about other forms of abuse here) It can be a good practice to search if your personal information is available online
Check if your information is publicly available online, for example, on “people finder” websites which are open databases that anyone can use to look up an individual’s information.
Here are a few examples of sites that you can check:
You can request to have your information removed from many of these sites. It is generally a good idea to check them every few months to see if your information has been relisted. If this is not a responsibility that you would like to take on yourself and you have the means to do so, you can use a paid service such as Reputation.com, which removes your personal information from paid sites, and then monitors them to make sure your information stays erased. You can also ask a friend to do all of this for you, as it can be unsettling to see what information on you is out there.
On April 27th, 2022, Google announced it will allow people to request removals of their personal information through their search feature. You can read the official blog post here. In order to get Google to remove something from their search, you must submit a request (you can begin the process here). Keep in mind that this process is not the same as having the material completely removed from the internet – this process will only affect what appears on Google.
Set up alerts using Google Alerts.
Set up alerts for your full name, as well as any social media handles that you use. Another option is requesting Google to remove information by using this form. (See how to report abuse on social media here). Need help reporting harassment? Join Right To Be’s Storytelling platform and get support from our community of bystanders.
- Keep in mind, some harassers will search for your family or friends if they are clearly linked to you, so it is important to alert them so they can take precautions. We recommend sending them a link to this guide.
- Evaluate threats and if you feel that you are in immediate danger, call your local emergency number. ie. if your address has been exposed, consider going to a friend’s house.