GLAD Digital Safety Guide

At GLAD we know that staying safe online is important, especially for queer and trans folks. Below you will find information and resources on online safety, harassment, and doxing to keep yourself and your organization safe.

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The first thing you should consider is assessing your online presence and making sure you are taking steps to protect your personal and identifying information wherever you can. Everyone is at a different level of risk based on their situation, activities, and background.

Some steps you can take to minimize risk include:

You can search for what is available about you online (self-doxing) and take steps to remove what you can. Here are a few examples of sites that you can use:

Doxing (also called doxxing):

What is doxing?

Doxing is the act of revealing someone’s personal information online. The term is derived from “dropping dox” or documents about an adversary. Doxing is a form of online harassment that means publicly exposing someone’s real name, address, job, or other identifying data. Doxing happens without a victim’s consent, with the aim of humiliating or bullying a victim.

If you have been doxed and begin to receive direct threats of violence or experience violence, you are able to request a Harassment Prevention Order (also called Civil Protection Orders or Temporary Restraining Orders).

Is Doxing Illegal?

There are no specific anti-doxing laws in most jurisdictions. Instead, the legality of doxing is determined on a case-by-case basis. While compiling or publishing publicly available information is rarely illegal, there are other crimes that doxers can be charged for. Those crimes include stalking, harassment, identity theft, or incitement to violence.

In the US, the Interstate Communications Statute and the Interstate Stalking Statute may be applied to doxing, depending on the details of a particular case. Doxing could also violate the terms of service for certain websites. For instance, Twitter prohibits posting the private information of another person without their permission.

I am being doxed. What can I do?

There are several free, DIY methods to help eliminate or lessen the effects of doxing as well as the amount of personal information that is online.

You can find more information using the resources below.

How can I protect my organization from online harassment?

How can I help stop doxing all together?

Dealing with doxing is taking a toll on my mental health. What can I do?

Acknowledgements: All of the information in this guide came from the linked sources above. The majority of this information came from Right to Be and can be accessed on their Digital Safety How-To Guide.