What is Domain Privacy Protection and do You Need it?
When you register a domain name, you will be given the option to buy privacy for that domain name. If you decide domain privacy protection is important to you, the WHOIS information will be replaced with a forwarding service, such as Domains by Proxy, Inc.
Domain privacy protection is used to protect your personal information. Without it, you’re WHOIS information will include your name or company name, email, telephone number, address and other details you give to the domain registrar.
Why Would You Want to Use Domain Privacy Protection?
The main reason to use privacy protection for your domain name is for personal protection. You have to give the domain registrar accurate information or they can terminate your domain name as a violation of the registration agreement. This means, your accurate information will show up in the public WHOIS database because it’s a requirement of ICANN.
Spammers and marketers use the WHOIS database to collect information and send out spam to domain owners. With privacy protection, you won’t have to worry about this issue.
It’s important to be aware of the specific scams that come along with those mining the WHOIS database. Some companies will send out what look like domain renewal invoices, but they are actually a payment you make to move your domain from one registrar to another. Make sure you read the paperwork and understand when your domain really needs renewed and who your registrar is for that specific domain name.
Benefits of Using Domain Privacy Protection
When you choose the WHOIS privacy option, you do gain specific benefits. You will be able to shield your personal information. Other benefits include:
- Easier to control spam and junk postal mail
- Keeps competitors from finding your information
- Firms won’t be able to find and resell your information to others
- Helps eliminate fraud and scams
All of these benefits come with WHOIS privacy protection. However, this may not be the best way to get the privacy you desire.
Who Owns the Domain When You Use a Domain Privacy Service?
Making the decision to use domain privacy protection isn’t as easy as it might seem. Yes, you gain many benefits, but it can also cause issues.
Since the WHOIS information won’t be yours, technically, you don’t own the domain name anymore. As far as the domain registry is concerned, the legal owner of the domain is the one listed in the WHOIS record. This means, if a proxy has taken that spot, they own the domain name, not you.
Of course, the right Terms of Service may seem like it would protect you. However, this type of case is open and shut in the courts. They own the domain name, not you.
What makes this even worse is the true fact that many privacy companies promise to keep your WHOIS information private, but they turn around and sell your personal information to anybody willing to pay for it. This won’t help protect you from anything.
Avoid the Hassle of Domain Privacy Services
Paying a fee for something meant to protect you, but opens up risks, isn’t smart. The best way to protect yourself from spam emails isn’t paying extra for domain privacy protection.
Instead, set up a separate email account specifically for registering domain names. As long as you still own the account, you won’t have to worry about any issues. This account will receive spam, but if it’s only used for domain registration, you won’t have to worry about the spam coming to your personal or business accounts.
You have to use a real address for your domain registration, so you cannot really avoid the junk mail. However, understanding which company is your domain registrar, will help you to avoid falling for one of the many scams out there. Remember, you can always file the junk mail in the round filing cabinet and take it out weekly with the rest of your garbage.
Purchasing domain privacy isn’t mandatory. If you happen to run into a domain registrar making it a mandatory purchase, don’t use their services. Instead, choose a different domain registrar that gives you the option to purchase privacy protection, but doesn’t require it.