Are you concerned you might become a victim of doxxing on twitter?
Struggling to interact on twitter without having your data weaponized against you?
You're not alone. We've gone through numerous stories of people being doxxed for religious, political and social reasons. And through careful analysis of these stories, we've come up with this article guide on how to avoid doxxing on twitter.
How To Avoid Getting Doxxed On Twitter
We'll be looking at the major ways you can enjoy your stay on twitter while remaining fortified to doxxers. We examine in-app tactics such as account locking, smart engagement. And others like using a VPN and practicing good digital hygiene.
Then we go even further to examine broader principles that would help steer you off paths that tend to lead to doxxing on twitter. e.g. a strong support structure outside of twitter and a north star approach to engagement.
Some of these overarching strategies seem unrelated to having a fun, safe and effective twitter experience, but we'll explore their roles in ensuring you don't find yourself at the end of a twitter doxx.
While twitter is doing their part to discourage doxxing, we can't leave safety solely at twitter support. At the end of this article guide, you'll learn to…
- Use A VPN
- Manage Our Data
- Engage Intelligently
- Protect your assets
- Have a north star
… so as to prevent doxxing and give your twitter experience meaning and fulfilment.
Without any further ado, let's get to the first step...
How To Use A VPN Service To Prevent Twitter Doxxing.
The triggers that make doxxers attack you may start on twitter, but the process continues outside of it. Many tend to ignore VPNs as an effective way to prevent doxxing on twitter. And supporting argument to this is that doxxers are more inclined to lift information from leaky databases, other sources such as a victim's tweet history or even device.
But I feel that a VPN goes beyond circumventing region-locked websites. Doxxing isn't usually a simple process of retrieving data from one database. It's investigative by nature where a doxxer has to gather information from different sources and then try to piece it all together to figure out the victim.
This is why an IP address, a seemingly benign piece of information that can only give a vague location of your address — say a city or region, can become sensitive in context of other pieces of information the doxxer has collected on you. So as the first step towards a safe experience on twitter, download a VPN.
Next is your personal information...
How To Manage Your Personal Information To Prevent Twitter Doxxing.
Whether it's through hacking, online or offline stalking, phishing or spoofing attempts, your personal information is always at risk of exposure. Credit reports, social security number, home address, phone numbers and names are some of the personal information doxxers can leak on twitter to tarnish your image or make your life miserable.
If you're trying to avoid doxxing on twitter, start making your information hard to find. Your password shouldn't be linked to typical life experiences and milestones like the school you attended or your child's birth of date. Your twitter bio need not have more information about you than it needs to have.
Depending on your purpose for using twitter, you should also consider using an alias as well. The harder it is to dox you, the less inclined doxxers would be to bully you.
And finally on the mindset part of managing your personal information, think before you tweet. Whenever emotions are high on both ends of the spectrum, avoid twitter. The platform is built to encourage spontaneous streams of thought but that's a disaster for those who use it that way.
Learn to use twitter productively through smart interactions...
Smart Interactions To Prevent Twitter Doxxing.
In many instances of twitter doxxing, doxxers are motivated by the emotional need to protect strongly held opinions of the world and wanting to win an argument. The probability of this heightened emotions rises dramatically when topics of religion, politics, finance, race and gender are discussed.
Sadly these conversations don't just spring up in day to day conversation till some controversial event occurs and trends on twitter. And so by default, these discussions are emotionally charged.
This is where smart interactions on twitter come in...
At this point, it's easy for bad actors to insert themselves in the conversation and genuine twitter members to misunderstand one another. And that's when the timeline goes ablaze. All it takes is one tweet from you that trends and you could have hundreds to millions of strangers hate you.
This is why smart interactions with people on twitter is an important way to avoid being doxxed. So if you're to have smart interactions on twitter, then there are some best practices to keep while you're on that avian app. Smart engagement on twitter starts with your twitter bio.
Remember when we talked about how your twitter bio should reveal just enough to make you human and approachable to the right viewers or followers?
A good way to do that is to use your twitter bio to show your visitors what they'll gain by viewing your tweets. Many people on twitter mistake their twitter bios as a place to show their job titles or the companies they work for. There are countless stories to show this is a bad idea if you don't want your job hanging on the balance of what you tweeted last night.
You're not a digital marketer at so and so agency in New York. Instead your bio should read something like this…
Helping businesses and customers understand each other.
Don't make finding your workplace easy for doxxers. There's also an added advantage to a planned bio. It gives your stay on twitter focus which we'll address when we get to the north star approach. For now, let's look at other best practices for smart engagement since it doesn't end with twitter bios.
The next important tweet etiquette to reduce the chances of twitter doxxing is to speak on issues you understand and have a cultural context of. Few things hurt more than an unexpected pile on because of an innocent yet naive tweet.
If you can avoid controversy, please do. And when you can't, then make everyone of those 240 characters count. Be as clear as you can be. And with that I'll move on to the last tip on engagement — be quick to kindness and hesitate with rebuke.
How To Prevent Twitter Doxxing With Digital Hygiene.
Digital hygiene is basically a set of practices that reduce the chances of cyber attacks of which twitter doxxing is one of them. Remember when we looked at how twitter doxxing is often triggered on the platform but the procedures executed outside the app?
When a doxxer wants to publish sensitive documents about their victim, they may start with twitter to gather information but oftentimes they go to other platforms to get most of their information. Leaky databases and phishing hooks are usually their source for information. So your approach to cybersecurity on other platforms can affect your experience on twitter.
The first and best defense to cyberattacks isn't the latest VPN or AntiVirus, it's your mindset. I'll summarize it in one sentence we all know too well but may have forgotten…
Don't believe everything you see on the internet.
Don't click on links from emails you don't know or interact with on a regular basis. Clean your inbox, download apps from Apple, Microsoft and Google Play. Delete apps you haven't used in a long time and update your antivirus software.
Have a North Star
Twitter is a marketplace for news, gossip and ideas amongst other things. If you're going to be on it then you should be aware of why. Simply knowing what twitter means to you can be enough to avoid situations that lead to doxxing on the platform.
Are you a political/social commentator?
Then you should pay extra care to avoid revealing what an ordinary user would consider benign personal information. You may even need to consider using an alias, a VPN and even a special hosting service for your site displayed on your twitter bio. You don't want it down because your service provider cut you out because of a twitter pile on or doxxing.
Neither do you want your family members targeted because of your opinions on a subject matter. But if you're a professional who has to use their names on twitter, then tread carefully when it comes to topics outside your speciality. Not only does it make you look unprofessional when you get entangled in controversy, you expose yourself to doxxers since you have a lot more to use.
Now, having a North Star goes beyond what you want your mission to be on twitter. It includes what your life looks like off of it. It's easier to troll or stir up trouble when your life off twitter is crumbling down. This doesn't necessarily mean illness or lack of income. It could be loneliness or strained relationships with friends and family.
Make friends and maintain family ties in real life. If you're in a bad place, as we all are from time to time, reach out to them. Don't find relief on twitter, instead see a psychologist. Even if you don't have a real reason to use twitter, have life goals and community outside of it. Keeps you grounded and gives you perspective.
Getting doxxed on twitter can be a horrible experience and it's understandable that it worries you. But the chances of being doxxed on the avian app can be drastically reduced with a series of best practices discussed in this guide.
We looked at why using a VPN can be a stumbling block to a doxxer piecing information together to figure you out. Your IP address may be vague when looked at individually but in context of other pieces of information about you, it becomes sensitive.
Then we looked at how to approach management of personal information. Next was using smart engagement to prevent situations known to trigger doxxing on twitter. From twitter bios to how to react to feedback on the timeline.
We also discussed how we can avoid cyberattacks off the twitter app that can end up being used to doxx one in twitter. And finally, observed how taking a North Star approach to twitter can be the key to the productive use of twitter.