Trollpedia:Blog/How to protect your personal life from trolls
Preface: Why should you be worried?[edit source]
It can be extremely inconvenient, possibly harmful to have complete strangers on the net knowing who you are and where you live because they can come to your house, send you mail, SWAT you or annoy you with Pizzas. It can be extremely distressing for some people, therefore, it is better to prevent anyone from getting their hands on your private information.
In the worst case scenario, a troll can sell your personal information on the deep web and you risk literal identity theft.
How do they obtain personal information from you?[edit source]
Trolls who might be interested to learn more about you just to prank you IRL or drop your dox will likely use any of the following "info gathering" techniques.
"Sniffing" is the most obscure, yet the most effective way trolls know where you live. It involves scanning web pages, with some software that we shall not disclose, until they get their victim's IP address. Once that is done, they will quickly look up the person's location with the numerous IP checkers out there, one of the more popular is available there if you are curious.
That's not all, there is even software designed to automate the process of building a dox if the troll is THAT lazy, we will not disclose the name of that software either.
Sniffing is particularly dangerous because outside of IP addresses, the troll can also steal the information you input into any form. That means that if you input your email and password into a website without SSL (Which is an encryption algorithm) then, with the aforementioned software, they can log into your account. This is the primary reason why public Wifis are unsafe.
How to solve this issue?[edit source]
VPNs encrypt your data and hide your IP address directly from your computer. Therefore, it is the most efficient way to protect yourself from sniffing.
Keep in mind, however, that proxies are generally frowned upon since trolls can use them to evade IP bans on forums and wikis, so you cannot stay protected by a VPN forever.
Other websites that do not outright ban proxies may still freak out if you use one.
- If the VPN is outside your region (E.G You live in Georgia, but the proxy server is located in the US), then Google will lock your account and force you to confirm your identity on the grounds that a hacker attempted to log into your account, believing that you ARE said hacker. If you manage to log in with the VPN and forget to deactivate it before logging out, you might come across the same issue from your regular IP address because Gmail will now believe that you live in the US.
- If you try to log into your Facebook account from a proxy outside your usual region, Facebook will lock your account and require you to send them over identifiable information, such as a driver's license, to allow you to use Facebook again.
- Twitter may lock down your account and require you to confirm your identity by telephone due to "strange activity", if you log into your account from a proxy outside your region.
- Do not even try, that is a bad idea.
From what I have seen, Tumblr is one of the only major website that is perfectly fine with an active VPN.
Social engineering[edit source]
Social media like Facebook make it incredibly easy for doxxers to find information on you. As a matter of fact, 9 times out of 10, someone gets doxxed because a troll found their Facebook profile.
Trolls may also use your friends to know where you live by either asking them directly or by finding a correlation between them (If they went at the same school for example).
How to solve this issue?[edit source]
Keep your personal life away from social media. The same applies if you have both a "public" account and a "private" account, do NOT post information about your personal life onto social media. Encourage your friends to do the same.