When you register a domain name, your personal contact information is saved in the WHOIS database, which is publicly available. This means that anybody who looks up your domain on the WHOIS database will have instant access to your name, phone number, email address, and mailing address.
Before you ask, no, you can’t just put fake information in the WHOIS database. Your website is an asset. You can’t register a title to land under a false name, so you shouldn’t expect to be able to register your website under a false name, either.
Domain name privacy is the only sure way to keep your personal details safe from prying eyes.
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What is domain name privacy?
Domain name privacy (also called “domain privacy protection”) is an add-on service you can get from your web host to hide your personal data on the WHOIS database.
Ideally, you should get it as soon as you register your domain name, so you have privacy protection right from the start. But don’t despair if you didn’t get domain privacy protection when you bought your domain name. You can simply ask your domain name registrar or hosting provider to add domain name privacy to your domain. You don’t need to have VPS hosting or dedicated hosting to ask for domain name privacy. Even if you use a shared server, domain name privacy is worthwhile.
Domain privacy protection is easy to get, and there are eight very important reasons you can’t afford to exclude it from your domain name purchase.
6 reasons you need domain name privacy
1. Without it, anyone can get their hands on your private contact info
You might not mind giving some people access your private information, but if you think carefully for about five minutes, you can probably come up with at least three people you wouldn’t want to have access to this information. Some of these people might include competitors, hackers, your annoying landlord who keeps looking for a reason to evict you, jealous workmates, and anyone else who isn’t rooting for your success.
2. Unless you get domain name privacy, hackers can easily get into your website
Backing up your website is one way to protect it. But all that hard work could be undone unless you also protect your domain name. If you don’t get domain name privacy, a hacker could easily break into your control panel and fraudulently transfer your domain to their own name. If you hide your contact details, a hacker will need to work a lot harder to pull off a stunt like this.
3. Domain name privacy separates your website from your personal life
We all know this story by now: A celebrity skyrockets to fame and fortune and is widely beloved. Years after their fame is well established, someone digs up old tweets that show the doomed celebrity saying some pretty unsavoury things. Now they’re being boycotted left and right, and their brand (and their bank account) suddenly plummets.
Hiding your contact details using domain name privacy helps prevent anything you say (or do) in private from coming back to haunt your website.
4. Domain name privacy prevents spammy sales calls and emails
If your personal information isn’t well protected, you might find yourself having to fend off unwanted sales calls and emails. If you think that’s nothing more than a simple, minor irritation, you’re truly underestimating the persistence of marketers and the sheer numbers of them who will bombard you with spam.
Just imagine trying to relax at home while your cell phone constantly vibrates. Or trying to find an important email when your inbox is constantly flooded with marketing spam. Things can quickly become so overwhelming that you start to seriously consider eschewing technology altogether and pursuing the quiet life of the hermit.
Better to just prevent the whole thing and get domain name privacy from the beginning, don’t you think?
5. Your personal data can be sold if you don’t protect it
Some companies exist solely to sell your personal data to others. Usually the people buying your information only want to market their products to you, but this can be annoying in its own right. And not everyone has such innocent intentions. If you care about protecting your personal information, you can’t leave it publicly exposed on the WHOIS database.
6. Domain name privacy prevents domain theft
Not all hackers wear black hoodies and spend hours trying to crack the code to enter your system. Sometimes, hacking is as simple as making a phone call. Someone who wants to steal your domain could simply call up your domain registrar and impersonate you. The less information a person has about you, the harder this is. Domain name privacy doesn’t completely negate this risk, but it certainly helps minimise it.
Your domain name is as much an asset as your house or your car. It would be a mistake to leave it unprotected by exposing your private information on the public WHOIS database. Ask your web host or domain registrar about domain privacy. And if your web host doesn’t provide this service, contact us and ask about transferring your domain!