I was doxed from an anonymous comment. How serious?

The title dramatically says it all as I am rather worried. I posted a single anonymous joke-comment (rage/baffle inducing comment directed at the picture (not the artist)) on a relatively safe site and a person was able to modify (something that you cannot normally do) a previous rage comment directed at me to include my first name. Now I often post my full name in copyright info for my art on deviantart and the likes but I practice safe browsing, my browsers deletes all of my cookies and history after closing, and I never download from a site that has not been peer reviewed by Norton users.

Now what I want to know is how this individual without any administrative privileges for the site was able to ID me through an anonymous comment, find out my first name, and whether this poses any danger to me.

I am a pretty confident and knowledged computer user but I absolutely never had to deal with or worry about this kind of thing. I have however contacted an admin and am awaiting a reply in the meantime.

Despite my deviant posting style on this site (a demented caricature of myself) I am very embarrassed to admit that the site was

, it is hilariously easy to get a flamewar going on that site without ever insulting anyone. (which baffles me as to why this person was adamant posting my first name) My preferred method is simply showing comical enthusiasm for the macabre/surreal. I never insult anyone.

In summary, how was I able to be doxed via an anonymous comment by an anonymous user, does this pose any additional threat to me or is it all hot air, besides my name having been only used on 3 websites including DeviantArt and the Escapist with last blocking unregistered user access was there any additional way the user could have gathered my name, and tricks to avoid this from happening again?

As always, Thankyou.

I can't really say for certain on the "how" but I do have a few ways that it might have happened.

First, do you know anyone else on that website, or someone who may play a prank on you? Going for people who know you would be the first thing I would do. After all, people can make jokes or indulge themselves in silly shenanigans. Even if it's just someone you talk to there. Get a rough estimate on how many people know your first name. Try to match the two & see if you turn up any results.

Second, how distinct is your posting style there? You mentioned that you show enthusiasm for the macabre/surreal. Now, if that is a trait that defines you in your posts, it might be easy for someone to pin point you out of the rest of the comments based on that. It's more likely to happen if you are distinct & stand out. For example, if I were to make an alternate account on this website, people would easily know it was me because of how nice & kind I am. Those traits define me, and they make my posts rather easy to identify with. Anyone who has spent time reading your posts will be able to match your posting distinction in that same way.

Third, you said that normally, comments cannot be modified. Do moderators on that website (if it has them) have the ability to modify that? Also, may I ask what indication was given that the modified post was meant for you? Depending on your name, it could be meant for someone else too. It's a long shot, but sometimes things are not what they appear.

As you can see, it can be a number of different scenarios here. This could be serious, or it could be nothing. It's very hard to tell because of the lack of evidence to go by. I would work around any normal or common leads first, to draw a more solid conclusion on what you plan on doing. Depending on how you post & present yourself on the internet, it may be difficult to avoid this happening again. You are who you are, and people will take notice of that if you stand out. :)

I hope this helps!

Aylaine:

First, do you know anyone else on that website.

Not at all. Beyond Steam, Escapist, and DeviantArt no one else knows my real name and absolutely no one knows what websites I visit.

Aylaine:

Second, how distinct is your posting style there? You mentioned that you show enthusiasm for the macabre/surreal.

Actually not that distinct, I sorta blend into the background noise. I tend to emulate other anonymous poster's styles. While I consistently find the more disturbing images to go against the grain in the slew of comments lambasting said images, this is nothing new or unique. If I stand out in anyway, I make active efforts to never attack anyone but not everyone does and it is all done anonymously.

Aylaine:

Third, you said that normally, comments cannot be modified. Do moderators on that website (if it has them) have the ability to modify that? Also, may I ask what indication was given that the modified post was meant for you? Depending on your name, it could be meant for someone else too. It's a long shot, but sometimes things are not what they appear.

Moderators do indeed have that power but only a select few and having recently talked to one of them, they do not do such things. Lastly I know the comment was directed at me because the statement included Anon1, because I was the first anonymous poster.

Aylaine:

As you can see, it can be a number of different scenarios here. This could be serious, or it could be nothing. It's very hard to tell because of the lack of evidence to go by. I would work around any normal or common leads first, to draw a more solid conclusion on what you plan on doing. Depending on how you post & present yourself on the internet, it may be difficult to avoid this happening again. You are who you are, and people will take notice of that if you stand out. :)

I hope this helps!

Thank you for your help. After doing some digging I am guessing that the person might have found out my IP address through the comment (stored in the page?) and used a similar site to PIPL to find where I have been. This is a far fetched guess but until the head moderators who can do something about this get back to me I simply do not know.

-Thanx again.

Saulkar:
SNAPE

Hmm. That is a bit puzzling then. If your internet activity is closed off to people around you, then this very well may be a full online situation. I would see what the higher us on that website have to say. While I'm not very tech savvy, that appears to be a lot of trouble to go through in order to figure out 1 persons identity. The question I would be asking myself is, could I possibly have done something to incur this, on any website? I know from experience, that even if you do not mean harm in anyway with your actions, you may inadvertently harm regardless. Just something to keep in mind. :)

Aylaine:

Saulkar:
SNAPE

Hmm. That is a bit puzzling then. If your internet activity is closed off to people around you, then this very well may be a full online situation. I would see what the higher us on that website have to say. While I'm not very tech savvy, that appears to be a lot of trouble to go through in order to figure out 1 persons identity. The question I would be asking myself is, could I possibly have done something to incur this, on any website? I know from experience, that even if you do not mean harm in anyway with your actions, you may inadvertently harm regardless. Just something to keep in mind. :)

I did indeed a hold of the top staff but they told me that not even they possess such power. They are skeptical as to if I was the one the comment was directed at and implied I am not to worry. (though slightly less politely)

Saulkar:
snipped

*facepalm*

I found your what might be your facebook, definitely your steam account, and your deviant art account. How you might ask? I googled your user name.

dmase:

Saulkar:
snipped

*facepalm*

I found your what might be your facebook, definitely your steam account, and your deviant art account. How you might ask? I googled your user name.

That obviously does not answer how it was achieved through an anonymous comment on a website that does not save your IP (I talked to an admin about that) and all cookies are deleted every time I close my browser. The idea of people ID'ing me through my online pseudonyms was never the issue or ever a concern to begin with.

The whole issue is that I posted an anonymous comment on a website that neither save your IP nor requires you to log in to comment. That comment was used by someone to figure out my name. Now a name is negligible in this instance but what that person did to get my name is beyond me and I do not want to one day find that something I did out of ignorance cost me something of greater value.

I am going to assume your passive-aggressiveness is a byproduct of completely misunderstanding my OP.

P.S. I do not have facebook.

Saulkar:

Aylaine:

Saulkar:
SNAPE

Hmm. That is a bit puzzling then. If your internet activity is closed off to people around you, then this very well may be a full online situation. I would see what the higher us on that website have to say. While I'm not very tech savvy, that appears to be a lot of trouble to go through in order to figure out 1 persons identity. The question I would be asking myself is, could I possibly have done something to incur this, on any website? I know from experience, that even if you do not mean harm in anyway with your actions, you may inadvertently harm regardless. Just something to keep in mind. :)

I did indeed a hold of the top staff but they told me that not even they possess such power. They are skeptical as to if I was the one the comment was directed at and implied I am not to worry. (though slightly less politely)

Hmmm.

They should still investigate that then. Though here is something I've been wondering: how do you know it was edited? Does it display an edit tag or indication on the comment if it's undergone any changes?

Aylaine:
snippedy snip :)

The reason I initially believed that it was edited was because I had seen that very same comment before. I am quite sure that it did not include my name before. The admins themselves say that doing such a thing was beyond the software and so the believe that I simply overlooked my name in the comment. At this point I admit I waaaaaaaaaaay overreacted but none the less I am glad you were so willing to help and the staff have contacted me and told me that they would delete the comment.

Thanks once again.

Saulkar:

Aylaine:
snippedy snip :)

The reason I initially believed that it was edited was because I had seen that very same comment before. I am quite sure that it did not include my name before. The admins themselves say that doing such a thing was beyond the software and so the believe that I simply overlooked my name in the comment. At this point I admit I waaaaaaaaaaay overreacted but none the less I am glad you were so willing to help and the staff have contacted me and told me that they would delete the comment.

Thanks once again.

You are welcome. I love to help!

I'm glad you have resolved this issue! Happy Net Diving. ♥

Just a heads up if you own any domains, people can do a "whois" look up command on that, the information returned usually contains your full name a contact number and your home address as when you sign up and register a domain it seems second nature to put this information in.

This is how a friend got doxed some time ago ;)

Also if you use the same username across multiple services quite often when searching that name you can stumble across personal info.

I'm abit paranoid about my online alias crossing with irl details, i have seen the damage that can be done by spiteful people online...

Also in regards to your IP address pro-tip if you are ever worried someone is getting information from it unless you are using a specifc static IP (commonly used in business connections for VPNs) Reboot your router.

The way home connections work is there will be a pool of IP addresses and you obtain one randomly when your router authenticates on the stinger with your username and password. So reboot your router get a new IP from the pool.

Most of this isn't relevant to you but how someone in an anonymous forum got your first name makes me curious... if i'm honest it smells like a rogue mod.

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked