Protect Your Privacy When You Register Your Domain

August 6, 2009

Online marketing is gaining popularity with both marketers and the market. A substantial market segment prefers to be tapped online because the Internet is where they spend most of the day. At the same time, marketers find online marketing more cost effective as there is less production cost, and communication efforts can be more target-specific.

With the convenience of online marketing come real threats—from small-time spammers to major hackers. However, armed with the right information, you can make the marketing potentials of the Internet work towards your advantage.

Domain registration is one of the first steps when rolling out your online marketing strategy. A lot of thinking goes into choosing the domain and paying for the rights to use it. Your domain is the seat of your entire strategy, and its protection and maintenance is important. Here are 5 important things you need to know to protect your privacy online and offline.

1.    What is domain registration privacy protection?
Every registered domain has a publicly accessible WhoIs record that shows the domain owner’s information. Usually, the details include:
·    Name
·    Address: City, State, Zip, Country
·    Phone number
·    Email address
·    Domain registration and expiration date
·    Host
Domain registration privacy protection seeks to limit or altogether prevent public access to your WhoIs information.

2.    Why does WhoIs exist?
ICANN, the international non-profit organization that regulates and organizes the Internet’s naming system, requires domain registrants like you to make information publicly available to help the public verify domain ownership and transfers.

The WhoIs registry plays an important role in helping law enforcement agencies all over the world investigate illegal online activities. It also helps individuals detect if a particular domain violates any intellectual property rights.

3.    What does WhoIs do for me?

ICANN seeks to protect both Internet users and domain owners. Making your WhoIs information publicly accessible helps your visitors confirm that you are a legitimate company, and it makes them feel safe to explore your website and give you their information.

If you belong to an industry plagued by fakes, it would be better for you to make your WhoIs record accessible by the public, on top of making sure that your website content is well-written and credible.

4.    What if I choose to limit public access to my WhoIs information?

Limiting public access to your WhoIs registry protects you from online threats like hackers, spammers, and shady email solicitors.

If you choose to completely prevent public access to your WhoIs, make sure that you dedicate space in your website for your business’ full contact information to assure your market that you’re the real deal. By doing so, you won’t have to share technical details about your domain that hackers might abuse.

On the other hand, you can choose to limit what the public sees on your WhoIs registry. You can make your contact details available while hiding technical information about your domain.

5.    How do I keep my domain registration details private?

Privacy protection is a requested function. The process to limit public access to WhoIs registries varies from one domain registrar to the next. The company that registered your domain should be able to tell you how to proceed.