When you register for a domain with a domain registrar you will be asked if you want privacy protection with your domain. In this article, we will cover what is domain privacy protection and why it is important.
Whenever you register a domain with the Domain Registrar your details include name, surname, telephone, email, and address are made public in the WHOIS database.
The WHOIS database is not a central database but rather a distributed database that is maintained by the domain registrars like Godaddy and Namecheap and the domain registers like Verisign that manage the .com Top-level-domain (TLD).
The Registrars are enforcement by the ICANN to keep this information is kept up to date. The ICANN The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a non-profit organization that is responsible for the domain name system management. ICANN accreditates the domain registrars to sell the Top-Level-Domains on behalf of the Domain Registers.
This information is required in the event of copyright infringement or illegal activity, so the owner of the domain can be identified.
This means that once you register a domain your details are bound with the domain and made publicly accessible through the WHOIS database.
Spammers use the Whois information to harvest emails about organizations and individuals. These emails are then sold at the higher bidder to sell you services like web site development or maintenance.
Your personal information can be harvested by unlawful individuals to try and steal your identity.
Your competition can use WHOIS information to determine the domains you own and gain inside information about your business.
There are two main approaches.
Domain privacy service is a service provided by the Domain Registrars. When you apply for this service the Domain Registrar will hide your personal details and will distribute anonymous information to the WHOIS database.
This service can be used during the registration of a domain or after the registration processes. However, it is much better to apply for it when registering the domain as historic information can be extracted, which means that personal information can still be accessed.
This service typically incurs an additional cost that must be paid during registration and renewal of the domain.
Is it also important to note that some Top-Level-Domain does not allow domain privacy protection as for example the .us domain.