What is “doxing” and how to protect your data online in dating apps

Doxing ‘is a term from English that is used to describe the practice of investigating and publishing private information on the Internet about an individual or an organization, generally for the purpose of intimidating, humiliating or threatening.

This practice of collecting and publicly exposing personal data has become a major danger in an increasingly connected society and is evident, for example, in ‘online’ dating apps, according to a recent study by the cybersecurity company Kaspersky.

According to this document, one in seven Spanish users has been subjected to ‘doxing’ (seeing how they stole documents or personal information) when they linked ‘online’ and 67 percent of those surveyed affirm that they are afraid of being harassed by someone who has met ‘online’.

Sharing too much personal information on dating apps and on social media can lead to big problems down the road. Users leave a wide trail of identifying information ‘online’ and this data can be collected and used by these cybercriminals, known in this case as ‘doxers’.


The most widespread problem is cyberbullying: 17 percent of those surveyed admit that they have been harassed on social networks by a person with whom they did not match. “You may find the love of your life online, but unfortunately there are also ‘bots’ and scammers looking for prey on dating platforms,” ​​warns Anna Larkina, security expert at Kaspersky.

In this sense, it recommends “remembering the basic rules of digital privacy.” «To have a safe ‘online’ appointment, I recommend not sharing personally identifiable information, such as phone number, location, home or work address, etc. Preventing threats at such an early stage will allow you to enjoy dating ‘online’ without any fear, “adds the cybersecurity expert.

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The survey leaves other worrying data: 11 percent say that a person with whom they ‘matched’ publicly shared screenshots of their conversations; and 8 percent say that their date ‘online’ sought their personal information to threaten them. 6 percent have seen their intimate photos shared online and 9 percent have been harassed in their real life by someone they rejected on a dating app.


To keep personal information protected, Kaspersky recommends handling private data ‘online’ responsibly, always checking the permission settings in the applications that are used – to minimize the probability that your data will be shared or stored by third parties – and using two-factor authentication.

«Be aware of the personal data you share and with whom, as well as the degree of trust you have in them; use abstract geotags and don’t tag photos of specific places you visit regularly; make sure you don’t show your personal details in the photos you share; and uses secure messaging programs, with end-to-end encryption, “add the company’s security experts.

Kaspersky warns that there is a series of information that users give and over which they do not have the same level of control. At this point, they recommend eliminating the ‘cookies’ after each session in the browser, activating additional functions in the browsers for greater privacy; use ‘incognito mode’ and never install unverified applications.

In the same way, it encourages the use of a reliable security solution, such as Kaspersky Password Manager, to generate and secure unique passwords for each account and resist the temptation to reuse the same one over and over again.

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Another interesting tool is Kaspersky Security Cloud, which has a function to find out if any of the passwords that the user uses to access their online accounts have been compromised. If a leak is detected, this ‘software’ provides information on the categories of data that may be publicly accessible so that the affected person can take appropriate action.


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