Domain Name Privacy Protection

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Have you purchased a domain before? Or maybe you are looking to buy a domain at the moment?

Something that you should be aware of when purchasing a domain is domain name privacy protection. This usually comes in the form of an add on feature on top of your initial purchase. Most of us quickly dismiss add ons without much thought and it is right to be wary of potential additional charges on top of what you’ve already paid. However, domain name privacy protection isn’t just an upsell to make you part with your money, it provides a valuable service that can be of real benefit to you.

In this article we’ll discuss domain name privacy protection in more detail, explaining what it is, and why you might need it. So if you are wanting to find out more about domain name privacy protection, read on below.

What is domain name privacy protection?

For those that don’t know, when you buy and register a domain name, your personal data is then stored on a database that is available to the public, this is called WHOIS. The idea behind having domain name privacy protection as part of a domain service is to protect your personal details and make sure that it’s not accessible to the public.

Without buying domain name privacy protection, anybody can access your information that’s on the WHOIS database. If you’re the domain registrant, this means your contact details are viewable. Usually this means email address, phone number, postal address, and full name - alongside any other details that you might have to submit to get a domain name registered legally.

What is WHOIS?

WHOIS is an online directory that is accessible to the public. It provides details on every domain registration online. To provide an example outside of the digital realm, some physical assets you own are kept and registered within a particular governing body. For example, if you have a car, then it is registered and the governing body is aware of who owns it and what paperwork is associated with it. WHOIS works in a similar way. 

By using the lookup feature on WHOIS, it’s possible to find out who owns any domain on the internet, as long as they aren’t using privacy protection.

Why should you use domain privacy protection?

There’s a lot of reasons why domain privacy protection can be a good idea, with the majority of them being summed up into the main points that are below.

The first reason is to stop people that you don’t want to contact you from doing so. Unfortunately, the public data available on WHOIS is more than enough for junk calls and emails to start flooding in, if your information gets passed on to third or fourth parties. Using domain privacy protection stops your information being harvested.

The second reason why you should use domain privacy protection is to keep your personal details safe. Hackers don’t need much to start attacking your digital ecosystems. Compromising your systems can cause a huge amount of issues for businesses. By protecting your data, you remove this weak point in your business’s defences.

So what’s next? What you should do…

If you’re concerned about your personal data, there are actions that you can do. First step is to check if you already have domain name privacy protection in place. You can do this by contacting your domain registrar, as well as the customer support of your hosting provider. Particularly for small businesses, registering and buying a domain is frequently a rushed process, so you might not be aware that you’ve already purchased protection. If the registrar or hosting provider confirms that you don’t have domain privacy protection, then there is still an opportunity to use it.

Most registrars and hosting providers are able to add domain privacy onto domains that already exist. So contact either your registrar or hosting provider to add the service onto your package.

Protecting yourself and your business online can sometimes seem like a never ending battle. People are always trying to scare you into buying another product and signing up to the latest service. Despite this, keeping safe, and your details secure online is extremely important. A simple way to cover a well known weakness is to purchase domain name privacy protection.