I am supported by my audience - which means, if you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
What is the use of domain privacy?
Domain privacy is the ability to mask the information you used to register your domain name. When you purchase a domain from a registrar like GoDaddy (or any other registrar for that matter), they are required to report specific bits of information about the consumer for public records.
When you buy a domain name, your registrar is required by ICANN to enter your contact information. This information includes your name, physical address, email address, and phone number – in its WHOIS database, a searchable index that holds contact information on all of its domain name registrants. This personal information is open, free of charge, to any member of the public who decides to check domain names in the registrar’s online WHOIS database.
Consider private domain registration your protection from the possible dangers of the WHOIS database. In the same way that you might protect your privacy by blocking your number out of telephone listings, you can choose private domain registration to keep your contact information out of the hands of strangers.
When you select private domain registration for your domain name, your registrar will replace your contact information with its own in the WHOIS database. Private domain registration is deemed an add-on service, which means it will carry an extra fee separate from your domain registration.
However, as menaces to online security continue to evolve, there are several reasons why it pays to have private domain registration.
#1: Anyone can access your personal data.
If your private information is accessible on the WHOIS public directory, just about ANYONE can access it. This includes people you do not want to expose yourself to, like hackers, competitors, jealous acquaintances, and anyone else with bad intentions.
This is a massive risk, especially if you are inventing a new concept, or building a website for a project you would like to keep in secrecy, or if you don’t want people to know who you are!
By not buying privacy protection, your data can get hacked, and you are exposed to identity theft. What is worse, if your website is hacked, your customer data gets jeopardized along with it, and you risk losing the trust you’ve built with them over time in an instant.
A problem like that can easily destroy a small business.
#2: You might get bombarded with unwanted sales calls, and even get scammed.
Now, if your personal information is out there for the world to see, nothing is preventing pushy marketers out there from capturing hold of your details and attempting to reach you. You could get a ton of calls from anyone who wants to market something.
On top of that, you gamble getting scammed. If these sales folks know your details, they could likely scam you into buying items you don’t need.
#3: Your website and other online assets can get hacked.
Your website took time to build. It’s almost like constructing a house. And if it’s not fully protected, there’s a small opening it could fall prey to a dishonest domain transfer. What that means is that someone else could break into your domain control panel and transfer your website to their name, without your permission.
Domain privacy protection shields you from such threats by masking critically confidential information. It’s like leaving your house open for strangers to come to have a peek at who’s inside it. If you tend to keep your house locked to protect yourself and your family, it’s common sense to protect your domain from strangers on the internet, i.e., hackers.
#4: Your personal data can be sold.
What’s even more alarming, is when other organizations engage in something called ‘data scraping’ to collect personal data from publicly available sources like WHOIS, in order to sell it to third parties.
Perhaps the latest, most relevant example is the allegations against Facebook for selling personal data to advertisers.
This is not a trivial issue to be ignored, and you should always pay attention to your cybersecurity.
#5: You will get a ton of spam emails.
It’s not just sales calls you can get. It’s also a ton of spam emails you open yourself up to by leaving your personal data exposed. Every spammer out there knows how to find personal data on public directories, and email is the most accessible channel to target small business owners.
Are you already getting a ton of spam you haven’t subscribed to? Have a look at your spam inbox and count the number of emails you get and from where. If you’re receiving junk emails, it’s because your details are lying exposed for spammers to use.
#6: Your competition will know a LOT about you.
It’s easier for your competition to track you if your personal information is easily available. They’ll know who you are, where you are, and how to get in contact with you.
As a small business owner, when you’re working with limited resources, any information you leak out to competitors can prove to be very expensive, especially if you are offering something unique to the market.
So, hedge your risk, don’t show all your cards and prevent competitors from stalking you with domain privacy protection.
#7: You can’t register a domain without providing authentic information.
You’re probably wondering if there’s a way around registering a domain with fake data. Why provide your details to your domain registrar and get listed on WHOIS in the first place?
The reality is that you can only register a domain with authentic information. All of the information you provide is verified. Again, very similar to registering any asset with the governing authority. Moreover, authenticity is a must as a small business owner to win the respect and trust of your audience from the start.
You can’t afford to look fake in front of your audience.
Find your dream domain and join over two million happy customers when you register with Namecheap. Trusted with over 10 million domains, you know you are in safe hands when it comes to turning your website idea into reality.
Keep registration data private with WhoisGuard. When you register a domain, certain personal information is taken from you that you may not wish to be publicly searchable.
Domain privacy helps to minimize spam and protect against domain hijacking. WhoisGuard acts as a ‘shield’ for searchable information and places Namecheap as the point of contact, displaying our information instead of your own.
WhoisGuard Privacy Protection is completely free for all eligible TLDs and includes personal details and spam protection. You can also benefit from email forwarding, synchronized expiration, and domain transfers.
There is no need to do anything to activate WhoisGuard as long as your domain is eligible. It will be added to the Shopping cart automatically and enabled by default.
While it’s difficult to put a price on peace of mind, it’s safe to assume it would be higher than the typical price range associated with private domain registration. Business expenses add up quickly, but it’s difficult to deny that private domain registration is a bargain.
If you have concerns about abuse of the WHOIS database, think about using private domain registration to have charge of your personal information and keep others from exploiting it for their gain.