Would you make your Domain Private?
Regardless of what your web content is, the very act of registering a domain means that you have just allowed the entire Internet access to your very personal information. All one has to do is to run a simple WHOIS search using domain checking tools to find exact details of your name, telephone number, email address and where you currently live at.
It is as Bad as it Sounds
This is exactly why plenty of savvy users on the Internet prefer to input fake names and addresses during their domain registration as that way, they can register their domain and still keep their privacy. The bad news is, wrongly entering your personal details during domain registration goes against the ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) policy, which means that you run the risk of having your domain name being deleted if you fail to comply with regulations.
In other words, regardless of fraud and the potential of receiving a whole lot of spam and unsolicited emails, it is a legal requirement to have your personal details to be registered, free for all to view on the Internet, including your competitors (who can then find out how many domains you currently own).
The good news is, domain registration is a business, and its business owners have come up with a simple plan to protect their clientele from data miners, spammers and identity thefts. The solution is known as domain privacy (also known as WHOIS Privacy).
Does web hosting companies provide private domain name?
To be protected under the domain privacy service, you need to register under a hosting company who replaces the user info with forwarding information. This way, anyone who looks up your information will be directed to the contact details of your hosting company instead.
Popular web hosting providers now incorporate domain privacy features into their packages for a small fee, and some even for free. The catch though is that when you do end up wanting to sell your domain, you would have to remove your domain privacy set in place so that your potential buyers would know that you are the actual owner of the domain.
Not all extensions are Created Equal
So we’ve established that you can now register domains and still retain your privacy. However, not all domain extensions are allowed this level of owner confidentiality. If your domain name ends with the “.us” extension for example, you are required to make all personal information accessible to everyone on the Internet. On the other hand, if you register a “.ca” extension, you are not required to post your registration details.
So, do your due diligence and make sure that you understand the pros and cons of your domain extensions. In fact, there are more factors to consider when you are choosing a domain name. For more tips, check our latest article on how to register a great domain name.
Do you need private domain name registration?
If you are running a business on the Internet, it is considered bad form to hide your information as it would make your business seem shady, similar to that of a scam company. Legally, a legitimate company that physically runs on a brick and mortar structure is required to have their company name, address and phone number listed for public viewing, which is why plenty of people feel that online companies should never hide their information either.
On the other hand, if you have a minor who is into registering domains and building quirky personal websites, then it would obviously be prudent to install domain privacy features to ensure the child’s safety.
How to register a private domain name?
When registering a domain, the option of domain privacy is a separate, add-on feature. This means that you first register your domain name under your real identity. After that, you pay an extra fee (at an average cost of $10 to $20 per year) to install domain privacy to your site. The domain registrar will then duly replace your information with generic information.
GoDaddy, BlueHost and HostGator are three decent web hosting providers who offer domain privacy to their users.
GoDaddy officially became a virtual force to be reckoned with when they were awarded patented rights to domain WHOIS privacy services in 2006. The cost of domain privacy is free for the duration of the initial registration of service, provided that you have over five domains registered in one bulk transaction. GoDaddy also has several economical offers up or grabs, such as the fact that you can now register domains for prices as low as $0.919 per year (for .INFO extension, over ten years) or opt to only pay $7.49 per year for a .com domain name.
Users can also enjoy free domain privacy when they sign up for a hosting plan with BlueHost for a cost of $3.95 per month. Other benefits such as unlimited data transfer, unlimited disk space and a free domain name registration are also included in the BlueHost’s hosting plan. Customers who would like to customize the information displayed on WHOIS can also contact them to implement changes. Otherwise, the WHOIS details will display BlueHost contact information by default.
Regardless of whether you registered your domain under HostGator, or if you are transferring registration to HostGator, this hosting company is offering to provide you with a WHOIS privacy protection for $10 per domain.
HostGator Coupon Code: Enter onlypay1cent when you order to reduce your hosting fee to $0.01!
Subscribe to a mailbox service that you can gain access to at all odd hours and have all your domain registrations be listed under that mailbox address. This should be your first line of defense in protecting your privacy even before you decide on whether or not you should privatize your domain.
After all, even if you are protected, your domain privacy can be easily revoked with a bogus phone call request or a fraudulent cease and desist letter to your hosting provider.
Our advice would be that if you are still impartial to this issue, get your domain privatized first anyway, as you never know who might be fishing for your details. As they say – what has been seen, cannot be unseen. Better to be safe than sorry. Domain privacy is very important in today’s cyberspace.
We would advice you to go with GoDaddy if you would like to register a domain name with a great domain control panel and lots of domain features. However, if you are interested to get web hosting as well, we would suggest you to consider BlueHost or HostGator.