Once you register a domain name, you are required to provide the registrar with your contact details. ICANN requires the personal details including your full name, phone number, address and email address. The information gathered will be visible to the public via the WHOIS lookup. In reality, it is readily available to everybody including marketers, identity thieves and spammers.

Information required by registrars

Depending on the registrar you will choose, you have to provide the required information.

  • Registrant contact is the individual or company who has the right to sell or use the domain.
  • Administrative contact is basically the individual designated to oversee the domain name and have full control over the domain name.
  • Technical contact is the individual responsible for maintaining the DNS nameservers linked with the domain name.
  • Billing contact is the person in charge of renewing the domain.

In most cases, a lot of individuals utilize the same information for the four required contact details. Companies oftentimes use different contact details for the technical and billing contacts.

Why you need WHOIS privacy?

There are various reasons why it is important to protect the information displayed on the WHOIS lookup. It is vital to ensure the safety of your information at all times from spammers and identity thieves.

  • It is important to protect your identity since it includes your full name and phone number. In any WHOIS lookup, all your private details are readily available to the public. Any individual who has Internet connection can easily gain access to your personal information, thus you do not want your information to fall on the wrong hands.
  • WHOIS privacy can help block out spam. With your phone number and email address readily available to the public, it can be easily targeted by spam, telemarketers and junk mail. A WHOIS protected domain can prevent entry of unwanted email.
  • It can help prevent unwanted offers from those who want to purchase your website or domain. If this is the case, it is best to provide a Contact section on your website so that inquiries can be directed to where you want them to go.

Drawbacks of WHOIS privacy

Even though there are several reasons why it is best to get WHOIS privacy, there are certain drawbacks that you should be aware of. Primarily, getting WHOIS privacy will involve additional expenses on your part. It cannot be denied that the prices when it comes to privacy protection typically depend on the registrar you will choose. In some cases, transparency is also a good factor. Some owners of domains do not care if their information is available to the public. This is due to the fact that having their information readily available to the public is essential in case someone needs to contact them regarding their services, website or domain. With the information readily available, it can also show confidence in their services, website and products. You should also take note that if WHOIS privacy is enabled, domain transfers are not allowed. The domain name transfers need transfer authorization via email sent to the registrant, thus the WHOIS privacy prevents a domain from being transferred.

Keeping your domain hassle-free

If you cannot decide whether to get WHOIS privacy, it is best to assess your situation first. Depending on your situation and needs, the solution is relatively simple. In case you only want a simple website that does not involve any online transactions, you can use a WHOIS privacy service that has a minimal negative impact. For those with an online business and require privacy, there are certain tasks that you can do such as setting up an email address that is specifically for your business. In doing so, it can prevent entry of spam from your personal email address but can still allow your newsletters and other emails not to be marked as spam by potential clients.