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Cornell University

Prevent Online Harassment with Technology Services

Guarding personal information against exposure through online harassment has become increasingly important to Cornell community members; a variety of university resources can be used to discourage doxxing, trolling, cyberbullying, and other malicious digital activities. 

This article applies to: Digital Harassment , Security & Policy

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Technology Services

The information technology (IT) departments at each campus can help members of the Cornell community if they are being harassed, as well as provide assistance to help create stronger defenses against potential online harassment.

In urgent circumstances, your IT department can hide your contact information from websites or de-list your email address or other directory information. If such a request is made due to digital harassment, the IT department will inform the Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX (OIETIX) that a request has been made and provide OIETIX with the identity of the requestor. OIETIX will contact the requestor to provide them with resources and information regarding University Policy 6.4, Prohibited Bias, Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual and Related Misconduct.

Where possible, specialized services or adjustments to your technology settings may help deter or respond to some forms of online harassment. Contact your campus IT department (details in the table below) to explore whether these options are appropriate or possible for your situation.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing online harassment, get help and report the harassment
  • Data removal and protection: Data removal and protection is a proactive step that can make doxxing more difficult. Several fee-based services, such as DeleteMe, Optery, Privacy Bee, Avast, and Kanary, can assist in removing your personal information from data brokers and other online sources. Data protection services like Ghostary support tools to help identify trackers and block communication with your device and IDX specializes in identity theft prevention, monitoring and recovery. These services all work a bit differently, vary in cost, and require that you give them personal information to do their work.

  • Dark web monitoring: Several fee-based services, such as Aura, Identity Guard, IDX, LastPass, and Experian, can scan the “dark web” for keywords like the names of any individuals who are encountering a doxxing issue. This is another proactive way to identify personal information that has been leaked, but the anonymous nature of the dark web does not support information removal.

  • Choose two-factor security for personal/private devices and apps: Requiring a two-step login for an extra layer of protection on personal/private devices and apps is a growing trend in service providers ranging from consumer products to the federal government. The two factors are often something the individual knows (like a password) and something they have (like a mobile device or a separate email account). For example, logging into a social media channel might require both a password and a code texted or emailed to the individual.

  • Various technical protections: Depending on the nature of the harassment, the campus IT department who supports the individual may recommend protections beyond the standard setup, such as hardening their university-owned computer, adjusting the sensitivity of antivirus software, increasing two-factor authentication settings, or adjusting email security settings.

Campus-Specific Technology Resources Contact Information
Ithaca Campus Depending on your need, the IT department in your college or unit, Cornell Information Technologies, or the IT Security Office can provide technical guidance and assistance in collaboration with other university offices. Call 607-255-5500 or email, or submit a request for help.
Geneva Campus TBC
NYC: Weill Cornell Medicine Submit a request for help with myHelpdesk, call 212-746-4878 or visit the SMARTDesk in the Weill Cornell Medicine Library Commons (1300 York Ave).
NYC: Cornell Tech Submit a request for help or email or
Doha: Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar Submit a request for help or call 4492-8711 during normal working hours (Sunday to Thursday, 7:30am to 3:30pm)
Rome Campus TBC

Cornell University Library Privacy Services

Cornell University Library offers researcher-centered support for members of the Cornell community at risk of digital harassment, particularly harassment that results from their academic work or other activities at the university.

For anyone at risk of harassment, strengthening your digital defenses and creating a plan for action and support in case of attack are the best strategies to mitigate harm in the future. The Library’s services emphasize digital literacy, harm reduction, and building networks of care and support. Privacy librarians consult with individuals to create digital self-defense plans, and to provide support in the event of attack.

The Library’s Digital Harassment Self-Defense consultations and workshops draw on the latest findings and advice from information technologists, intellectual freedom advocates, security and privacy experts, and social science researchers to offer a holistic understanding of each individual’s threat model, and a range of options to mitigate their risks of harm. View the library’s guide or email


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