FBI Warns Montana Parents: Kids at Risk of Doxxing and Swatting
Remember the days before the Internet and cell phones? When you called someone and they were not home, you just accepted it and moved on. When you needed to research something, you went to the library or blew the dust off of that encyclopedia collection your Mom got suckered into buying.
Now, with the advancement of technology and the integration of the internet into our everyday lives, kids are in danger of being targeted by other internet users for something as simple as playing an online game or posting a photo.
The FBI has warned Montana parents that kids in Montana are very much in danger of being a victim of "doxxing" and "swatting."
According to NBC News
To combat the growing problem, the FBI has begun taking formal measures to get a comprehensive picture of the problem on a national level. Chief Scott Schubert with the bureau’s Criminal Justice Information Services headquarters in Clarksburg, West Virginia, told NBC News that the agency formed a national online database in May to facilitate information sharing between hundreds of police departments and law enforcement agencies across the country pertaining to swatting incidents.
What is "SWATTING?"
The first time I ever heard this word used was when I heard about an online gamer getting his house stormed by a SWAT team. It is said that another online gamer got upset about the score of whatever game they were playing and called in a fake threat to authorities. The victim's address and phone number were obtained by the other gamer and that person had police swarm the victim's home in search of an armed gunman.
The official definition of "SWATTING" is:
Swatting is a criminal harassment act of deceiving an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into sending a police or emergency service response team to another person's address. This is triggered by false reporting of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage situation, or a false report of a mental health emergency, such as reporting that a person is allegedly suicidal or homicidal and may or may not be armed, among other things
What is "DOXXING?"
Much like "swatting," online users somehow manage to gain access to their victim's personal information and leak it online as a way of harassing their victim.
The official definition of "DOXXING" is:
Doxxing (also spelled “doxing”) is the act of revealing someone’s personal information online. Doxxing is a form of online harassment that means publicly exposing someone’s real name, address, job, or other identifying info without a victim’s consent. The aim of doxxing is to humiliate, bully, harass, or otherwise harm a victim.
Parents need to be aware that kids are susceptible to being targeted and become victims of either "SWATTING" or "DOXXING." Even in our little corner of the world in Montana, online criminals can reach literally anyone. It is recommended that Montana parents talk with their kids about giving out any personal information when online. It is simply too easy these days for criminals to make anyone a victim.
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Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood