Guide for the Doxxed

So you’ve been doxxed or someone is trying to doxx you.  The information on this site is a little more urgent now.  Take a breath. Let’s get started on some steps to take out of the gate.

  1. Talk to your community!  Chances are there’s someone around you with experience of this or who can connect you with folks in other places who have it.  Your community is your most valuable resource – alone, this stuff is isolating and overwhelming and panic spirals can be easy to fall into.  There are a whole bunch of us who have been doxxed and are still here and still doing the things that matter to us.  People around you will also be your best source of connections to resources that can help you make this process easier – fundraising for a deleteme or knowing someone who can help recover a hacked account.
  2. Remember to breathe.  There’s a lot of digital noise we’ve left behind and when you start out, there’s a lot to get rid of, a lot to hide, and a lot of behaviors to shift. Do it one step at a time – it’s not going to all happen today and that’s okay.  Just continue to make time to get a little closer regularly.
  3. This zine has a good framework to approach the situation in – think about the ways you exist digitally and be careful.  Go in with an understanding that no tool is perfect and the most important security asset we have is how we engage with things.
  4. Wait! Don’t delete accounts yet. Deleting your account can sometimes make it more vulnerable during the recovery period, especially if security settings haven’t been updated first.  Also, if you’re facing charges (especially conspiracy type ones) check with your lawyer before you delete public posts and information.  Temporarily deactivate a social media account until you know whether you’re clear to delete it without facing legal repercussions. You don’t want a tampering with evidence charge added on if you can avoid it.
  5. Prioritize locking down social media, setting strong passwords and updating recovery info.  Being visible means you’re a target for further information gathering and for potential attacks on accounts.  Keep yourself safe and think about what information about other people in your life can be learned from your visible presence.  We’re intimately connected to our friends and comrades and it’s important to remember that our security is tied up with one another’s.
  6. Read up on how to recognize a compromised account.  Read up on red flags when receiving communication or friend requests.  It’s a lot but the more you think about communication in this framework, the easier it’ll be.  Record anything weird that happens, especially strange messages.  Check with people face to face whenever possible.
  7. Doxx yourself! Find out what’s out there and take down what you can or understand what’s staying up.  Get yourself off as many of these places as you can. Be very mindful here of what the information visible on you communicates about your friends, comrades, family, especially for things like newspaper articles or mugshots from the same event that can’t get taken down.  If there you’re visibly linked online to someone who would be of interest to the folks doxxing you, let them know the situation so they can know to prepare their own digital selves.
  8. Clean out your accounts and mass data storage as much as possible.  This will be a little overwhelming but opens the door for good long-term practice around minimizing risks.
  9. Make a real evaluation of the risks involved with your particular situation – some regions doxxed by fascists have seen regular cruise-bys of their houses while other regions have rarely or never seen any in-person harassment or immediate threats from doxxing.  Are you publicly part of something that might become a target?  Proactively talk to those folks where possible and let anyone you’re comfortable doing so not to give out info about you. Saying “I’m being stalked/harassed by a nazi online” is true and also sidesteps the question of what got you doxxed. Evaluate whether being doxxed will impact your job at all (in most cases we haven’t seen an extensive impact on jobs but that varies by level of doxxing and by the industry and region that you’re in as well as the specifics of information that’s been put out).  Consider whether your job can be discovered and whether having a conversation with a boss or coworkers is possible and can block you off from future threats/media inquiries/job security issues. If you’re in school, ask for your information to be held privately.
  10. Understand that a big ongoing impact here is that you will be easier to ID in the future.  Be cautious with how you enter spaces – fascists love to send info along to cops and your face and name are publicly associated now.  Be smart.  Being out of town won’t help hide your identity any more.  Protect your identity in situations where you need to through masking and other tactics and consider carefully what actions you engage in when fully visible.
  11. You got this.  Folks have been here and will be here.  Stay connected, stay calm as much as possible.  Anxiety is normal but try not to panic – remember that we’re all here and all in solidarity with each other.  If your brain is getting the best of you, check in with folks around you.  Connect with other folks going through the same thing and share information with each other. If you can’t find the information you need or have a question, hit us up: digitaldefense@riseup.net and we’ll work on getting the tools you need.  Love and rage, y’all.