Does A VPN Help Against Doxxing?
How efficient is VPN in doxxing prevention? VPN services either provide full protection or dox their users. Let's find out how.
If you are a frequent internet user, you must've come across one term quite often: VPN- also known as a Virtual Private Network. With the ever-growing threat of doxxing, VPN has become a protective tool for many. Every year, more than 142 million people access VPNs. As it hides their identities and safeguards them from doxxing.
How exactly does one use VPN for doxxing prevention? Is VPN really a gold standard for online protection? Or is it all just a myth? Let's find out.
VPN prevents doxxing by concealing your:
- IP address
- Search history
- Personal information
Let's take a look at how exactly VPNs conceal each one of these.
Do you think IP address is just an insignificant piece of information? If yes, it is time for you to change your mind. Your IP address is like a bridge between your data and a hacker. It is that unique address that identifies your device on the internet.
Once a hacker gets his hands on your IP address, you are in grave danger. They can use it to trace your location. Or to break into your device to steal personal information. Once this data is revealed online, it can have malicious results.
In the year 2007, Andrew Finch got into a fight while playing Call Of Duty. The malicious opponent on the other side took the fight way too far. He doxxed Finch's house address and reported him to the police for domestic abuse. The police had already received two false complaints about Finch. This time they took it very seriously and shot Finch to death. Crazy, right? Read the Full story here.
VPN prevents doxxing by protecting your IP address. Once you connect to your internet through a VPN, your IP address becomes jumbled up. Imagine this, it goes into a machine that crumples it up. Then it comes out on the other side back in its original form. This way no one can understand your IP address or use it to dox you. Read more here.
Geolocation is the geographical location of your mobile or any other computing device. IP address is not the only thing that can reveal your location. Geolocation services that you use every freaking day do the same. In fact, these services have made location tracing even more simple. Yikes.
All these tracking services including google maps can track you wherever you go. Once a cybercriminal hacks your device, he can easily see where you have been. Or where you're going. He can then put two and two together to make out your house address. There have been cases of intruders breaking into victims' houses.
VPN protects you from becoming a victim of such activities by spoofing. When VPN is turned on, it fools the hacker by giving out a false location. You could be in Canada and your VPN would show your location in America. Interesting, isn't it? Read more about it here.
Let's face it, we all have searched a lot of random and secretive things on the Internet. Sometimes doxxers use this search history to shame the victim publicly.
VPN prevents doxxing of search history like a magician. When you use the internet with VPN turned on, doxxers see the IP address of some remote VPN server. That way they can't get real information about you.
There's no denying the fact that the internet is used for all sorts of work today. Be it your credit card information, phone number, or passwords. The Internet has it all stored up. In simple words, you openly invite intruders to dox you. That too, without even realizing it.
Not only normal people, but A-class celebrities have become victims of doxxing. Back in 2013, Kim Kardashian, Jay Z, and Beyonce had their personal information leaked. This included social security numbers, bank details, and much more. In the year 2020 alone, 155.8 million individuals were affected by data exposures. This shows exactly how important it is to protect your information online
However, VPN doxxing and breaches can be avoided easily. All you have to do is follow three simple steps.
- Clear all your cookies.
- Change your passwords.
- Connect to the internet via VPN.
By now, you must be thinking that having a VPN can always protect you from doxxing. Unfortunately, that is not true. Even this remarkable protection service has some flaws.
VPN can not protect you when you download some malware. Openly inviting hackers to break into your system. Neither will VPN identify suspicious links that can infect your system.
In simple words, even if you use VPN, doxxing can happen. So you need to take certain security measures.
How To Avoid Getting Doxxed Using VPN?
Here are some of our top tips on how to do that:
- Keep your devices up to date and download good antivirus apps. This will protect your system from becoming infected by common hacking tools.
- Stay away from shady websites and links that seem suspicious.
- Never take part in quizzes that ask questions like, "your favorite pet." As such information often gives answers to security questions.
- Never share your username or passwords with anyone.
Other than these measures, there is one more thing that you must take seriously. That is, choosing the right VPN. There are thousands of VPNs available online, each one promising 100% protection of your data. Unfortunately, a lot of such VPNs are scams.
Statistics reveal that 84% of the VPNs out there leak their customers' actual IP addresses. 82% try to trace the personal information of their users. Yikes. As if that is not scary enough, 34% of such apps infect your system and steal important information.
Fortunately, you can tell the scam ones from the real ones by keeping a few things in mind. So let's take a look at those next.
Which VPNs Should You Use?
First and foremost, always remember that there is no such thing as a "Free VPN." They exist only to generate profit by stealing from their users. On top of that, such apps infect your devices with a number of malware. Free VPNs are mostly scams, they’re highly dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.
Here are 11 VPN scams that you should beware of.
Next, come the VPNs that ask way too many personal questions. One such very famous VPN service is Astrill. It asks its users to log in with their address and contact number. Creepy? Hell to the yes.
Using your common sense and being highly alert when choosing VPN is very crucial. VPNs making claims like, "Fastest VPN", " No IP leak" are usually bogus. It's best to read their features closely before subscribing.
Dead VPN Service
Another scam out there is dead VPN services. There are a lot of VPNs that no longer work but still steal people's money by letting them subscribe. So before you buy a service make sure it's active and running. Otherwise, your money will go down the drain and your payment information will be present on an unsafe website.
To sum it all up, there is no service out there that will protect you from doxxing 100%. Even the most well-known protection service aka VPN has flaws and makes you a victim of doxxing. So it’s best to be self-aware of the sugar-coated VPN threats while surfing the internet.