Domain Privacy: Why It Matters to Your Business

Domain Privacy is a premium service that replaces your contact information with that of your service provider, protecting you from anyone who might try to gain access to your information for malicious purposes. In addition to signing up for anonymous hosting from some of the best web hosting services, domain privacy is an easy way to protect your site and data.

When creating a site with the best website builder, you sign up for a new domain for your site and need to enter your name and contact details to confirm your domain registration. However, this information is not private. Indeed, the details you enter are publicly visible and accessible to anyone using a WHO IS phone book.

As you might have guessed, this can lead to a lot of privacy-related complications. Posting your phone number and email address publicly on the internet can expose you to huge amounts of marketing spam. It can even make you targeted for domain hijacking or even identity theft.

In this article, we’ll discuss what makes domain privacy so important and why it’s a must for any business owner with a website.

Domain Privacy: What is it?

Most domain names you find on the Internet are registered through an organization called I CAN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). According to ICANN regulations, domain owners must provide their name and contact information when purchasing a new domain name. This information, in turn, is listed publicly in a database called WHOIS.

Once your information is entered into the WHOIS directory, anyone on the Internet can access and view it using a free domain lookup tool. These tools are very common and easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

Domain privacy is a paid service offered by many domain registrars, including GoDaddy, Namecheap, and Hostinger. It allows you to hide your WHOIS directory contact information by replacing your contact information with a random email address and the registrar’s own contact information. Domain privacy is often offered as a premium add-on whenever you purchase a new domain name.

Why is domain privacy important?

Image of a cybercriminal using multiple computers in a dark room

There are several reasons why ICANN requires every website owner to publicly display their contact information. This practice makes it easier for law enforcement to track people for illegal activity on their websites. It also helps attorneys hold website owners accountable in plagiarism and copyright infringement cases.

However, your contact information is not only displayed to law enforcement agencies or the courts. In fact, it’s on a public database that almost anyone can access. There are many reasons why some people might try to get your details from this database.

People might be interested in buying your domain, which is usually harmless. Answering with a simple yes or no is probably enough to make these communications disappear. However, others may try to send you marketing spam via email or phone. In extreme cases, spam can become very intrusive and seriously affect your productivity.

Finally, hackers can use your contact information to hijack your website or target you for phishing scams and identity theft. This is surprisingly common and very deadly. If they manage to get your details, they might go so far as to try to convince you to wire them money and provide them with your credit card details. These types of scams range from the downright ridiculous to the extremely convincing.

Domain privacy add-ons are usually very reasonably priced, starting at £2 at £20 per year, depending on your domain registrar. If you run a public company, you might be wondering if it’s even worth subscribing to domain privacy, since your contact information is already publicly available on your website. The answer is: maybe.

Hackers and spammers often use dedicated bots to crawl WHOIS directories to find the contact details of people to spam. If your details don’t appear in WHOIS records, chances are your business escapes the notice of those systems and is therefore less prone to spam.

However, if someone with malicious intent really wanted to find your contact information, they might still be able to get it from your website.

What about GDPR?

GDPR represented by binary code in a European flag formation

At this point, you might be wondering about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – the new set of data regulations aimed at protecting your privacy on the internet – and whether it comes into play in all of this. . The good news is that it is.

Persons protected by European Union law will have their details removed from WHOIS lists on the Internet. This means that a note saying something like “redacted for privacy” will show up instead of your contact information.

However, even if you are eligible for privacy protections through the GDPR, your registrar may still be required to “subsequently share” your contact information with certain “trusted providers”, such as domain registries. Whether these organizations also respect your privacy will depend on their individual policies and legislative jurisdiction.

In conclusion, if you seriously care about your privacy as an online business, you might still want to subscribe to domain privacy even if you fall under the jurisdiction of GDPR. Next, we’ll look at how domain privacy actually works and what factors contribute to it.

How do I acquire domain privacy for my business?

Hostinger homepage

There are two ways to acquire a domain privacy add-on for your business. You can get it when purchasing your domain for the first time, or later as a separate add-on purchase. Either way, you’ll get the same benefits.

Almost every domain registrar, be it Domain.com, Namecheap, GoDaddy, Hostinger, or someone else, offers domain privacy add-ons to accompany their domain registration options. Some of them even go so far as to add a domain privacy option to your default shopping cart when you purchase a new domain. Domain privacy usually costs no more than £20 per year.

You can also acquire the domain privacy add-on separately at any time or upon renewal of the domain name. However, it’s a good idea to get domain privacy right from the start, as there are online tools that can allow malicious actors to find historical purchase data for a given domain name, even after enable domain privacy.

Conclusion

Domain privacy is a powerful tool that helps protect website owners from unwanted spam and malicious hackers.

If you are a business owner who is investing in an expensive website, it is highly advisable to get the domain privacy add-on while building your website. Even if your contact information is displayed publicly on your website, its absence from WHOIS records can protect you from spambots that only check WHOIS data.

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