Security threats are evolving online. The newest trend to cause worry is “doxxing” wherein one’s files (or documents, also known as docs thus “dox”) are found and then dumped on the internet for anyone to see, or worse, to use. The victim of this security breach is described as being “doxxed.”
Darius Fisher, the president and co-founder of Status Labs, has a few suggestions to stay ahead of those wrong doers. One of the best ways is to simply find out what information is already out there yourself right now. Google yourself, use Yahoo! or Bing while you’re at it, and take stock of how much information you can find and if there any easy fixes, take care of them right away. Make some profiles private or delete log-ins or accounts you don’t use any more.
Fisher says private information such as your Social Security number or financial records are not the only thing you have to be worried about. Other things that seem innocent can also be used against you if they can collect enough. Such small details as might be found on an online biography might be used to bluff one’s way past security questions. The overall amount of data available should be watched and curated.
Status Labs, a reputation management company, specializes in the online perceived reputation of its clients, and they are one of the top firms in the country. They recommend that all domain name registration be done through a proxy or anonymously, even paying if you have to do. Many registries have searchable databases, so don’t just leave information like your address available for thieves.
Fisher recommends making sure all your social media accounts have their privacy settings set as strongly as you can. If possible, don’t use any real information, your real friends will recognize your picture, or maybe even your dog if you change your online name. Segregate your “friends” into different lists if you want to have some information available to a select few that you know you can trust.
The last simple step is to just change your passwords. Making changes more frequently than they are required keeps you ahead of the curve in your own online security.
Fisher graduated from Vanderbilt University and worked as a political consultant and copywriter, before co-founding Status Labs. Fisher was recently included in PRWeek’s “Innovation 50” – a list honoring the best PR and digital communications professionals in 2015.