What is Domain Privacy?
Domain name privacy protection is an add-on option to prevent spamming and exposure of personal information about a domain’s registered owner(s). It’s an optional paid add-on, which according to advocates is an essential feature for stopping the abuse of email addresses and other publicly available WHOIS data.
But How can WHOIS data affect your privacy?
When a new domain is registered, the owner is required by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) to provide registrars up-to-date personal information such as name and contact information, which is then required to be displayed publicly.
Although there is no official WHOIS directory but the public output that registrars are required to display acts as a vast address book for domains. And each WHOIS record contains your personal information such as name, address, email, and phone number along with the registrar’s name, nameservers, expiry date, and whatnot.
There is a feature in WHOIS called WHOIS Lookup. This feature allows anyone to see who owns and manages the domain name, including their names, contact information, address, in short, everything that they initially provided while registering for the domain, by just typing the website name on the search bar. Although the WHOIS Lookup feature is an easy way to find relevant information on the public WHOIS database, it can easily be used against you or harm you.
And the public display of this information is deemed a must by ICANN in case any issues arise regarding your domain, such as from ownership confirmation. Unless you are protected by the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).
Also Read: Nameserver: What Is It And What Does It Do?
Some Regulations laid:
Because of the recent high-profile incidents of data hacking and breaching, the importance of personal data protection on the internet has come into the limelight. While it has always been important, it was a neglected somewhat ignored aspect of the internet. These incidents have led to the awareness of data protection and the creation of several data privacy regulations that aim to give internet users more control over personal data and its handling.
The European Union implemented a set of data privacy regulations in the spring of 2018, called the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. This law has become the primary means of protecting the personal data of EU citizens on the internet around the globe, and companies and other entities who fail to comply can be subject to stiff fines and penalties.
While the GDPR is primarily implemented in the EU, it isn’t limited to regulating solely in the EU. Because the internet is a global network, any website that could be used by EU citizens comes under provisions of the GDPR, including WHOIS and ICANN certified databases.
The GDPR stipulates entities that collect personal data must anonymize this data to protect data owners’ privacy, and the data owners must give their consent for specific uses of that data in return.
Also Read: What To Do When Your Domain Name Is Taken?
Why Domain Privacy Protection is needed? (Why domain privacy is not a luxury but a real necessity?)
When you purchase a domain, you are required to provide accurate and full contact information by ICANN or any other registries. And this information is required to be made public, by default.
Registered domain names can be entered into any free-to-use WHOIS search tool, and anyone can retrieve the WHOIS information that has been made public and can use it as they want. So, you see, if you have not protected your personal information, it can be retrieved easily by anyone. All the personal information, your email, phone number, name, and so on, is left wide open without a shield for unsolicited marketing and sales contacts, spam, and may allow your domain to get hijacked.
And remember, you always have the option to enter domain privacy protection, a service that keeps the contact information anonymous by replacing real contact information with that of the privacy service and randomly generated email addresses and keeps the spammers at bay.
Here are some reasons why you need the Domain Privacy Protection:
1. Protect your personal information
Identity theft is a serious problem on the internet, and as we have seen, it is very easy to retrieve your information if it is not protected. Domain Privacy is necessary to help prevent your data from getting into the wrong hands.
Also Read: Best Practices To Secure Your Website
2. Prevents Selling of personal information
You are always in danger of having someone gather all of your or your company’s private information and sell it to a third-party vendor, without domain privacy protection. These vendors will provide your information to marketers and organizations that will send a steady stream of unwanted emails and phone calls.
3. Prevention from SCAMs
By protecting your vital contact information like phone number and email, you will be less susceptible to attacks like email phishing. Phishing is a type of scam where a hacker poses as someone else as a legitimate person and tries to retrieve your important data. You can avoid phishing and impersonation attacks by securing your domain email with DMARC.
4. Prevents hackers
While some like any type of website visitor, hackers are not the ones that come in good faith. Gaining access to your private data can attract a lot of these unwanted visitors and it is not good for you. Hackers hack your website or compromise your data. They are only on the website for malicious purposes.
Also Read: What To Do When Your Website Is Hacked
5. Prevention of potential for competitive insights
Your domain name registration can be used by your competitors to help them gain insight into your business and the way you operate. And your personal information can be used against you by brands looking to counter your unique advantages and capture your market share.
6. Greater control over your personal information
Last but the most important reason is the control you should have over your information. With domain privacy protection in place, you have just that.
Also Read: How Do You Transfer A Domain Name
What is the cost of domain name privacy?
Domain name privacy protection is necessary if you love your privacy as a website owner, but it must be expensive, right? No, it is not, and considering how much it is protecting your privacy, it is worth the price whatever it may be.
Generally, the cost of Domain Privacy Protection ranges between ₹200 to ₹1500 annually. Without the protection, your private and sensitive information is wide open to being exploited by anyone who wants to. The domain name privacy protection service makes sure to keep your information private and secure, you have the right to keep yourself protected and secure and this feature lets you exercise your right on the internet. Bottom line is that the feature is worth the extra price you are paying.
Host IT Smart offers Domain Privacy Protection for just ₹277.16 annually, which makes it one of the most affordable packages on the internet.
Sure, opting for and activating this feature does add more expense to your website, but the security value it provides is worth every penny.
Also Read: Cheapest Way To Start A Website
While on the internet there is no guaranteed way to be completely safe or to protect your data, you can at least choose to control its visibility by choosing to hide it from strangers. Your personal information can be used for various objectives by spammers, scammers, and hackers. If you are a website owner, you can choose to hide your sensitive information and keep it same from them.
We would suggest you opt for domain name privacy, it may seem expensive and luxurious at first, but it is a necessity on the scammer-filled internet. Compromising your personal information is the last thing you should do. Avoid it and protect it as much as you can.
We have laid out all the aspects of ‘Domain Name Privacy’. At the end of the day, it is your decision, make it wisely.