Doxing is a term used for the process of digging up profiles, pictures, addresses, emails and other relevant information from public sources, about an individual when you have very little information to start with, usually just a username or an email address.
Another word for doxing is Document Tracing and is also sometimes spelled Doxxing.
I use various doxing techniques to find emails and information about people when I need to contact them about an issue with their website, when they have not provided any means of contacting them through said website.
Legality of Doxing
Doxing may or may not be legal depending on your country and state laws, I am not a lawyer and I simply do not know, I assume no responsibility for the information I am about to share.
However using this information to harass or abuse an individual(that includes celebrities) is against the law and instantly makes you a dickhead, so don't do it.
More information on legality:
If the person you are trying to dox happens to have a website you could try to do a WHOIS lookup on the domain name by using a service such as who.is or any other website out there that provide you with a WHOIS lookup feature (there are a lot of them, even I have created one).
A WHOIS lookup will return various information about the domain owner like their name, email, phone number and address.
Sometimes people purchase WHOIS Privacy plans from their domain registrar to mask their names from the WHOIS information, if the person that you are trying to find information on has done this, you will usually see a generic "WHOIS PROTECTION LLC" or similar company name as the domain owner.
Doing a WHOIS lookup on a domain will ask the appropriate WHOIS server for the TLD (top-level domain) that the website is using, what that basically means in layman terms is that there are different servers for every domain ending(.com, .net and .coffee) that is currently in use, you may find a list over these servers on the official IANA webpage.
Something to note is that when you send an email to the email listed on domains that are protected with WHOIS Privacy, it sometimes will forward your email to the real owners email, do not rely on this to be true in every case though.
Reverse IP Domain Lookup
Since we're talking about domains and websites, I thought I'd throw in a little advanced tips that could be very useful if your target has a website, It's a trick called Reverse IP Domain Lookup, it is the process of using a search engine to look for websites that are hosted on the same IP address as the website of the individual you are trying to find information about.
John Smith has a kitten-hating website called KittenSlaughter.com, you are extremely against this website and want to find out what horrible person is running it, but John has purchased domain privacy and the WHOIS information for the KittenSlaughter.com domain is not useful to you.
What you could do then is to go to a Reverse IP Domain lookup site (list below) and type in the IP address of the KittenSlaughter.com domain (Open CMD and write ping kittenslaughter.com then copy the IP address).
You will then get a list of websites that are hosted on the same IP, now, bear in mind that there is no guarantee that any of the websites that are hosted on the same IP Address actually belong to John Smith, but with some manual checking and looking through each of the websites you should be able to filter out the irrelevant websites and find the ones that likely belong to the kitten hating individual.
Here are some good, reliable websites that provide Reverse IP Domain Lookup services, I suggest that you cross-check between all of them:
- http://reverseip.domaintools.com/ (paid)
- http://www.my-ip-neighbors.com/ (free)
- http://www.majesticseo.com/reports/neighbourhood-checker (free)
- http://www.tcpiputils.com/ (free)
Follow The Username
If the particular information that you've got about the person you are trying to dox is a username from a place like reddit, steam or a forum, you could try to copy-paste the username into Google or any other search engine and look for profiles on other websites that are using the same username.
It's highly likely that the person has used the same username on multiple websites, if the person has shared personal details about himself using the same username somewhere else than you should be able to find it pretty easily with some clever Googling.
A quick and dirty way to search for a username on a bunch of popular websites at once is to use a website called KnowEm, it will take the username that you've specified and go out and check if it is registered on any of the 500 social networks that it has in it's database.
Searching for the username on Skype may also prove successful and might give you the person's full name and possibly a picture of the individual.
Facebook Email Lookup
If you've got the individuals Email ( or full name ) then you can copy-paste it into the Facebook search bar and see if a profile comes up.
Facebook allows people to quickly find a profile if they have the email that the person used to create their account with, this can be a very quick way to find a lot of information about a person from one place.
Reverse Image Search
With the recent advances in technology doing a search based on an image has become quite trivial, lets imagine that the person that we want to find more information about is someone on a forum, he has a picture of himself as an avatar.
If you are using Google Chrome you can simply right click on this avatar and choose the option "Search Google for this image.", you will then be taken to a Google search result page where you will find links to other websites where the exact or a very similar image has been used, most of the time people have a single "profile picture" that they use everywhere.
This works wonders on dating sites where you often have to pay to be able to message people, although from personal experience, this is often not very effective and will just label you as a creepy stalker... ._.
Phone Number Search
If all you got is a phone number, or you've managed to find the phone number of the person you are digging up information about, then you could try various "reverse phone lookup" sites, there are a lot of bullshit websites that want you to pay for this information.
The legality of phone book websites in various countries differ slightly so there is no one website where you can lookup every phone number in the world, but here is a website that I found has a very neat list of websites in each respective country that provides a phone lookup service:
Real Name + Address Combinations
If you've got the real name of the person you are trying to find more information about, and you might have an idea of where he is located, you can start combining the name and part of the address like so:
- "john smith us"
- "john smith florida"
- "john smith Osceola St"
This method also works well with email addresses and usernames, try various combinations of the username, email, name and address to get more and more information about your subject.
Tracing someone down on the internet is not as hard as people think.
It only takes a little bit of clever searching and maybe a few minutes of cross-checking information, it wouldn't take an experienced "doxer" more than a few hours to have a complete profile of an individual.
Be careful about what information you share online.