Domain Privacy Protection
You finally found the perfect domain name and you are just about to click the final button to pay for it when you spot a little check box that says, “Add privacy protection?”
What does this mean and do you really need it for your site?
Every domain name that is owned by someone is listed in a vast registry through ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. You can visit any number of websites (http://whois.net for example) and search for a specific domain name to learn who owns it — and be provided with their name, email address, phone number, and street address.
This information is listed for the main contact on your account, plus your administrative contact and technical contact. So you could potentially have three different names, numbers, and addresses publicly visible.
Unless you are a large corporation and have anonymity through your very size, this could potentially release your personal contact information into the deep void of the Internet where it can be found by anyone.
You could potentially have three different names, numbers, and addresses publicly visible.
If you add privacy protection, however, then the registrar – the site where you buy your domain names – will display their information instead of yours. Yours is still on file with them, so they know exactly who you are, but the general public will just see GoDaddy or NameCheap or whomever.
Here’s an example:
(the red line and arrow is where personal information would show if it were not privatized)
Now, if you don’t have privacy protection, here’s what your domain could look like:
(The red box shows the private information that is not hidden. In this case, the .us domains are not eligible for privacy protection)
Three Reasons Why This Should Matter To You
First, as we’ve already mentioned, it protects your privacy. This in turn lowers the risk of identity theft. By keeping your personal information off the interwebs, you are making yourself a harder target and helping keep you and your family safe.
Second, it stops spammers. Many people are scouring the internet, looking for new web domain registrations. They then call, text, email, or snail mail you with offers for their web design services, SEO services, graphic design services, you name it. But if all that is displayed is the registrar’s information, then you’ll receive no spam from that source.
Third, it puts your personal information in YOUR hands. You get to choose what you want to display publicly. Do you want your name on your website? What about a phone number? You have full control over what information the world can find on you.
Who Can Use This?
Every reputable domain registrar offers a service like this. Some offer it for free, others charge a small fee. If your registrar of choice doesn’t offer this, then we highly recommend switching registrars. We recommend GoDaddy.com and NameCheap.com.
However, there are some domains that aren’t eligible for this service. Most “.com” or “.org” domains are just fine. But others, such as “.us” aren’t eligible. And some other country top-level-domains (or TLDs) have restrictions on what information can be shown and what information can be protected.
Here at WhatArmy, we highly recommend adding privacy protection to prevent your registration information from being displayed online. Not only does it just make good sense to privatize your information, but adding one more layer of security to your internet activity is never a bad thing.
Ready to add privacy protection to your domain name? We’re happy to help!