I Just Bought A Domain Name – Will My Privacy Be Respected?

June 28, 2012 by  Filed under: Domain 

In short,no. Not unless you have taken steps to ensure privacy, and even then the shield you put up will not be ironclad. This article will first discuss why complete privacy is impossible– as well as dangerous; then we will talk about what can be done to secure at least a modicum of privacy for your personal information.

ICANN(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) the governing body for domain names, demands that every domain name registrar furnish it with accurate domain ownership information including reliable contact details with the name of an authorized person for contact purposes–that means you!

What happens if you fail to give the registrar accurate information? Well, the registrar can terminate your registration rights, for one thing. For another, somebody else can take control of the domain. Does this actually happen in the real world? I’m told that it does; and happens often enough to make inaccurate information an expensive proposition! Don’t despair, it gets worse.

Every registrar is further required to provide an interactive webpage and “Whois service” to enable free access to up-to-date data concerning all active registered domain names. Which is to say that you must give them your private information, and in the absence of any actions to the contrary on your part, they will make that same information available to anyone, anywhere, with access to the Internet.

By the way, for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, a “Whois service” looks much like the domain name search box you used to register the domain. The difference being that when your domain name is typed into that box, out will come your name, address and phone number. Give it a try; you will find it most informative!

So what can you do to at least make it difficult for the predators, perverts and other malefactors we are told are hovering around out there in cyberspace? Remember, don’t fake it; that’s just asking for more problems. The best thing to do–indeed the only thing you can do is take your domain private. Virtually all the registrars have systems for doing this. The name, address and phone number of a recognized agent will be substituted for your own. How can they do this legally? Well, the existence of the agency was accepted by ICANN as sufficient evidence of acceptable contact information. In Theory all ICANN has to do is go to the agent when necessary.

One more detail. Be sure you purchase the privacy at the same time you register the domain. If not it is rather easy for knowledgeable searchers to discover who registered the domain immediately prior to being taken private–they know the odds are that that person will be the present owner– namely you!

Have we answered the question posed by the title to your satisfaction? It might not be the answer you wanted to hear, but it is the reality of the net. You can at least make it difficult for those folks looking for your private information even if you can’t avoid them entirely.

If you found this article worthwhile visit Mike Nardine at Cheap Mike’s Domains. Check out his prices on cheap domain names, cheap webhosting and take a look at all the free stuff you get with every domain you buy.

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