Real World Privacy Threats & How To Prepare


Jan 31, 2023

Going Viral And Protecting Your Privacy

A certain type of story gets the headlines when it comes to online privacy and security. A dark web crime ring gets busted. A network of hacktivists is trying to take down an oppressive regime while wearing Guy Fawkes masks. A celebrity leaks revealing photos and gets extorted for millions. These are eye catching but very different from the types of threats we're likely to face in the real world.

Instead of focusing on stories that typically get headlines, we're going to examine three situations and threats that can impact almost anyone:

Social media fame and going viral

Justice seekers and surveillance

Relationships gone wrong

Maybe you've fired off an epic clapback to a major Twitter celeb and before you can congratulate yourself, you're watching in horror as messages flood your DMs. Maybe you're a healthcare professional who made their best call but a patient is upset and tanking your online reviews. Maybe you've attended a protest and someone's decided to target you by using your photo without your consent.

Nobody Wants To Become A Target

Nobody wants to think about having their information used against them. But in case you find yourself in a situation where your information is compromised, you should know why you've become a target, how to handle it, and how to prepare. Over the next few weeks, we'll explore these real world privacy threats, share experiences, and highlight resources.

If you are dealing with an urgent threat, we're here to help. We've included a list of resources at the end of this article and encourage you to take action by documenting what's happening and reporting it to the platform admins and your local authorities. Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions, suggestions, or if we can help remove your information from sites.

Being Proactive About Privacy And Security

If you're here because you want to take preventative measures, our goal is to help you prepare by being aware of vulnerabilities, sharing stories of resilience, and outlining steps to improving your privacy. Acting early not only protects you but also members of your community and family.

We'll be back soon with our first in depth post about dealing with viral fame.

Stay safe in your physical and virtual worlds.

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Resources For Cybersecurity Emergencies:

Report scams and fraud

FBI: Facts and Resources on Elder Fraud

US Treasury Inspector General: Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

FTC: Report Fraud and File a Complaint

What To Know About Credit Freezes and Fraud Alerts - FTC2

Preparing to protest

Google Doc: Anonymize your online footprint (Source: @everestpipkin on Twitter)

Equity Labs: Digital Resilience During Actions

Dealing with defamation or revenge

K&L Gates, Cyber Civil Right Legal Project

DMCA: What is a Takedown? Understanding the Legal Process for Content Removal

Minc Law: Defamation of a Public Figure vs. Private Figure Explained

Dealing with Doxxing

Wired: What to Do if You’re Being Doxed (We can help with this: Try Kanary free for 14 days)

Responding to Cyberbullying How to spot and respond to cyberbullying How To Understand And Handle Cyberbullying - Tip Sheet

Don't be a sitting duck.

Find where your personal information is being exposed online and remove it for good.

Or, send us a note [email protected]. We’ll respond within a day!

Kanary - Find your exposed personal information, delete it | Product Hunt

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