Protect Your Privacy When Registering Your Domain Name

November 24, 2011 by  Filed under: Domain 

Did you know that when you register a domain name your personal information is made public? Imagine your home address, email and phone number being listed on the World Wide Web for all to see, all over the world!

Why is My Information Made Public?

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is tasked with keeping the Internet secure and stable. Their policy is to require domain name providers (the companies you buy domain names from) to make your contact information public for several reasons. First, when technical issues with your website arise, you can be easily contacted. Second, it makes it easier to enforce consumer protection. Third, you can be contacted in case of trademark violations or enforcement of other laws. Lastly, the information is used to validate requests to transfer a domain name registration to another registrar company. This is common when you select a new web hosting provider.

Here is How Your Information Can Be Used:

  • Businesses or individuals who are interested in obtaining your registered domain name, can use the information to determine when the domain name expires or to offer your money to purchase the domain name from you.
  • Law enforcement agencies can use the information to investigate illegal activities.
  • Intellectual property rights holders can use the personal information to contact those in violation (think trademarks).
  • People could use the information to contact you personally.
  • Companies can use the information to send junk mail.

How much of your information is made public?

Among your personal information that is made public is:

  • Your name, address, phone number and email address.
  • The date your domain name was registered.
  • The date that your domain name will expire.
  • Your web hosting provider name and IP addresses.

How Can You Protect Your Privacy?

One of the best ways to protect your privacy when registering a domain name is to register in the name of a third party. Many domain name companies will register your domain name as a third party for a small annual fee. Some of the top web hosting providers will register your domain name as a third party for free if you buy the domain name from them.

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