Are you familiar with domain privacy? When you sign up with web hosting or update your current web hosting plan, you have to consider your domain security. Domain privacy is really popular with web hosting companies and website owners and has become an add-on feature that can cost more each year. Is it worth it add domain privacy, also refer to as WHOIS privacy or WHOIS guard? Here is a look at what you need to know about domain privacy to decide what measures are important for you to take.
What exactly is domain privacy?
It’s important to first understand what domain privacy is. When you first select a domain name for your website, your domain name and your contact information will enter a public directory known as WHOIS. This is a requirement of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers or ICANN.
Your information will be public including your phone number, mailing address, name, and email address. This is done so that those who violate copyright laws or spam customers can be located for their illegal activity. Being a public database, it puts individuals’ information accessible to anyone which isn’t always a safe idea.
You can purchase domain privacy as a service to protect your personal information in the WHOIS system. Some company’s like that customers can more easily find them through WHOIS while others would prefer to have their personal information replaced with the company’s information. You’ll still be the owner of the domain with the company’s information in your place but it gives you a level of privacy you didn’t have before.
Do I need domain privacy?
If you want to protect yourself against spammers, hijackers, identify thieves, consumers, and domain name shoppers, you are wise to get domain privacy.
You may want to get the word out about your new small business and use the WHOIS system to collect information on your target market. Those that requested to be contacted another way or didn’t realize their address was available online may get angry with your company. If you’re on the other end of this situation and a large corporation was sending you mailings multiple times per day due to finding your information on WHOIS, you’d be irate. It can easily be used as a spammer’s marketing tool.
Another example of domain privacy coming into play is when it comes to hijackers and identity thieves. Websites can be hacked and identity’s stolen due to sophisticated technology. A simple way to add a little protection to your life is to remove your personal information from being available on WHOIS in case you become a target.
For example, the name, mailing addressing, email address, and phone number listed on WHOIS combined with a person’s photo or birthday found on social media could be the perfect recipe to hack you or steal your identity.
When it comes to consumers, you may find that the controversial product you sell online or the strong opinions you put out there are enough to make you a security threat online with consumers. If you have your address listed, your phone number available, and your email address listed, you could receive angry phone calls, hate mail, or a visit to your home. On the other hand, having a large fan base due to a popular blog could end you up with stalkers or excessive contact from fans.
Domain Name Shoppers
Lastly, you should consider protection from domain name shoppers. When you’ve chosen your company name, registered the perfect domain, and everything is about to take off until someone tries to contact you to purchase your domain, they may hassle you until you go through with it. You could lose your dream over a small amount of money. Don’t let yourself be put in an awkward situation.
Consider these scenarios when you are deciding about domain privacy so that you don’t have to deal with a breach of your security. Consider leaving your personal information available if you already have the same information plastered on the internet through your website or social media or if you think it will give others the confidence to work with your business. Think about what makes the most sense for your business and your security needs.