Please note: this information is based on the most common forms of doxing we see in North America, but will vary by country. If you have information on how people from other countries experience this and feel like helping us expand this guide, please contact us!
"Doxing" is a common first-stage tactic of mobs of anonymous online groups looking to intimidate you and start digging up information on your life. Sure, where you live may have nothing to do with whatever their beef is with you, but by bringing up personal information, irrelevant to the subject at hand, that the target could have some reasonable expectation of privacy around, they are to trying to violate the target's boundaries and intimidate them into fearing how this information may be used. What's worse is that once this information is out there and in malicious hands, it's likely been backed up across several pastebin and archive.today type services, making it difficult to remove.
The best thing you can do, then, to prevent doxing, is to preemptively not put your address out there, or remove any mention from it that already exists.
Common Ways Anonymous Mobs End Up With Your Dox
Whois Information: Whois info is what you used to sign up to any domain names you may own. You can check what info is displayed by running your websites through this Whois Lookup tool. If you have concerns about your address or number getting out there, consider listing a PO Box or google voice number instead, or purchase domain privacy along with your URL. It's often an extra 10 dollars or so a year to do so, so weigh the likelihood of ever needing it against the cost. Sadly, thanks to whois history services, once your name is on your whois, it becomes very difficult to do much about it later. You can often find whois privacy coupon codes over at retailmenot if cost is an issue.
Facebook And Other Social Media Where You May Have Posted Firsthand Info: Have you ever posted sensitive info yourself? Maybe photos of new places you've lived? If you have security concerns, you should go through and change privacy settings of ideally your entire account, if not the specific posts that may have exposed sensitive info. It doesn't have to be something as brazen as posting a specific address - sometimes tangential hints to your location can give away something you may not want to. Remember that the online mob has nothing better to do than play Detective Poopsock sometimes, and if you're at risk or currently being targeted it's much harder to control a situation once things have already started to fall apart. There's a guide to Facebook privacy settings that is always updated here. Make sure to lock down the visibility of things like your friends list along with information like your phone number if you feel that you're at high risk of being targeted. Google old usernames you remember and delete anything you don't want to come back to embarrass you later.
Third-Party Info Sellers Like Spokeo: These sites are like glorified online phone books you don't even have to agree to be a part of to have your information out there, and are a favorite tool of doxers. There's a good site to help delete your information from them here, but here's a list of sites and links to removing yourself from them. Sometimes the process is a huge pain in the ass (some even require faxing).
Once again, the best way to handle doxing is preventatively if possible because of how hard it is to remove information once it's out there. If you are worried you might someday be targeted, consider taking an evening to stalk yourself online, deleting and opting out of anything you're not comfortable with. Also, if you're worried about your cell phone number and feel like changing it, a lot of cell phone providers will allow you to do this online with minimal fuss.
Remember, it's not your fault if online mobs do someday find your information and try to use it for cyberstalking or intimidation. But if removing your information and securing your online identity can help you have some peace of mind or make it harder for them to do it, and you have the time and desire to do it, it can't hurt.