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Good security practices

No matter what you do online, you should always try to follow general good security practices:

  • Be very careful with your personal data;
  • Respect the privacy of others on the internet;
  • Only download files and install software from known and trusted sources;
  • Regularly update all software and operating system  of your devices to reduce the risk of attacks;
  • Create unique and complex passwords and securely store them in password managers  ;
  • Enable multi-level authentication  for your online accounts wherever possible;
  • Use an anti-virus/anti-malware software;
  • Encrypt everything you can encrypt;
  • If you use a public computer, try not to leave any traces  behind;
  • If your USB flash drive was in a public or unprotected computer, be sure to scan it with anti-virus/anti-malware software before using it again. It is generally recommended that portable devices, e.g. USB flash drives or external hard drives, are scanned each time they are connected to a computer;
  • Take into account the risks that your every action on the internet implies, privacy does not mean less responsibility;
  • At least quickly read through the Terms of Use/Service before clicking "I accept".
Digital hygiene Phone/Tablet Data leaks Safety Computer/Laptop

Bad security practices

Habits are hard to change, but you should try your best to avoid these bad security practices:

  • Never send passwords , personal data or financial information via plain text email;
  • Do not access networks or other systems for which you do not have authorisation, even if you have somehow obtained certain login credentials (username, password). This does not mean that you have been authorised to use them;
  • Do not install suspicious add-ons and software updates;
  • Don't click on suspicious links you received via email, no matter how interesting the message may seem;
  • Avoid using public or unprotected computers;
  • Avoid using other people's mobile devices;
  • Don’t write your passwords on a post-it. Seriously, don't!
  • Don’t put the names or dates of birth of people close to you as passwords;
  • Don’t leave your devices unattended and unlocked;
  • Don’t ignore suspicious activities - sometimes it’s better to be paranoid;
  • Do not use pirated software. If you do not want to pay for software, look for a free and open source  alternative;
  • Don't live in your comfort zone. Sometimes it is worth investing a little time and effort and learning the basics of how to be safe on the internet.
Digital hygiene Phone/Tablet Data leaks Safety Computer/Laptop


Publicly disclosing personal information about a target, such as home address, familial status, bank and credit card details, date of birth etc. This information can be posted on one or many different platforms, in comment sections, or via video or text. 

Regardless whether or not disclosed data is utilised for harassment, the unauthorized posting of data alone, qualifies as doxxing, and is viewed as a type of online attack. As is often the case, when doxxing creates an imminent danger to safety, art. 138 of the Criminal Code - Endangering safety - could provide legal protection. In this case, public prosecutors and police are mandated to follow up, investigate and responsible for protection. As the filing party, you are responsible for collecting evidence  needed for filing the criminal charges. This charge provides stricter sanctions if the target is a (female) journalist.

ADVICE: Explain in detail how, why and when you feel unsafe, and detail your concern for the safety of your family and loved ones. These details could be the key to success when it comes to court proceedings.

Art. 146 of the Criminal Code, Unauthorised Collection of Personal Data, which prohibits the collection, publication and use of data for purposes “other than those for which they are intended”, could provide the basis for legal protection. 

Document every instance and location in which your personal data was posted, and file this evidence with the police.

Immediately report doxxing and any other unauthorised publication of personal data to the websites or platforms where it was posted, and to the police. 

Follow-up on your report to better ensure they respond.  Immediate action is key to prevent further distribution of your personal information online.

Turn off location tracking options on your phone, Google maps, and other applications that collect your sensitive data (location, key address, etc). 

Put strict privacy controls on your social media profiles, and two-step authentication  systems for all website logins storing your sensitive data. 

Talk to the people you trust - colleagues, friends, employers. Urge the police to alert the platform to remove your personal data, and use website and platform reporting mechanisms. 
Deleteme is a tool that can help find and remove sensitive data online.

If you ever feel that the online violence you’re experiencing, might transition into the physical world, call the police → immediately. 

Digital evidence Password Recovery account Digital hygiene Phone/Tablet Location Report to platform Data leaks Reputation Safety Sexual Harassment Identity User account Computer/Laptop Criminal charges