4 Easy Steps to Implement Domain Privacy
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Domain name registration contains information about domain owners, which can be either organizations or individuals. When you register a domain name, you can choose whether to make this data public or private. Choosing the latter means implementing domain privacy protection.
Domain privacy is helpful for people who are concerned about their privacy. Moreover, it has other benefits with regards to cyber security – it can protect you from third parties who want to use your information for their own benefit.
In this article, we’ll talk about domain privacy – what it is, why you need it, and how to implement it during domain registration.
What Is Domain Privacy?
After you use a domain name tool to find a domain name, you’ll need to register it through a registrar. To do so, you need to provide your contact details, such as name, street address, email address, and phone number.
This data is stored in the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) WHOIS database or WHOIS directory. A WHOIS lookup will display any related information about a domain name to anyone who accesses it. This may present a serious security threat.
Fortunately, domain registrars offer a privacy service known as domain privacy protection when users register a domain name. Domain privacy shields users’ personal information from appearing in the WHOIS database.
After enabling domain privacy, the following information will not appear publicly:
- Registrants’ names.
- Phone numbers.
- Email addresses.
- Postal addresses.
Instead of displaying personal information, domain name registrars will fill in your information with their company’s contact details.
Why Domain Privacy Is Important
Here are the reasons why using domain privacy protection is essential for your business:
Secure Your Personal Information
Cyber criminals may exploit users’ personal information that is stored in the WHOIS database. If they misuse your data, it may result in damage to many aspects of your business, including its reputation, customer trust, and even profits.
By hiding your data from the WHOIS database, domain privacy protection helps minimize the potential of data exploitation.
Protect From Spam Emails
Domain privacy protection can prevent cyber threats like spam emails. People who abuse the information on the WHOIS database mainly target users’ contact details, specifically email addresses. Spammers use this information to send harmful email messages.
If you don’t use domain privacy, you might receive spam emails containing product or service offers. Be careful of any attachments or links on such emails – they may contain malware or viruses.
Safeguard Your Data From Domain Hijacking
Another threat to your domain name is domain hijacking. It may occur because of several reasons.
If you unintentionally reveal your Domain Name System (DNS) credentials after a scam or phishing attempt, it will result in stolen data. With the information gathered from the actual domain name, the attacker may impersonate the website, gaining access to sensitive customer information.
Domain hijacking is a dangerous threat to any business. It may lead to damage to your reputation, financial losses. You may even need to pay fines.
Domain privacy protection can help prevent domain hijacking by hiding your personal details to thwart hackers from stealing your information.
Keep You Away from Unwanted Marketing Outreach
It may be frustrating to receive calls from unknown parties, which might be telemarketing companies. If your contact details are publicly available in the WHOIS directory, they can use your phone number to market or promote their products or services. Without domain privacy, there is a chance you will keep receiving these unwanted calls.
To make matters worse, scammers might contact you and offer fraudulent services or products. For example, a cyber criminal may offer a service of renewing your domain name. Hang up the call if you feel it is not genuine. Alternatively, contact your domain registrar to ensure the call was from them.
How to Buy and Implement Domain Privacy
The most straightforward method to implement domain privacy protection involves doing so when purchasing a domain name. The following are the steps to follow:
1. Find a Domain Registrar
Look for a domain registrar that suits your preferences. If you are unsure, check information available online to find a good domain registrar.
When you have decided on a registrar, enter your domain name in the provided field. This way, you’ll make sure that your domain name is still available.
Here is an example of what a domain registrar looks like:
2. Choose Your Domain Extension
It is recommended to pick your domain name as soon as you see it is available to prevent it from being claimed by someone else. After you enter your domain name, the registrar will display a page containing available domain extensions.
Take some time to decide on the best extension for your domain name. Even though .com and .net are the most picked top-level domains (TLDs), other domain extensions are also worth considering. For example, Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLD) such as .us, .fr, and .in may help you focus on marketing your business in a specific country.
Below is an example of the domain extensions available on Google Domains.
3. Enable the Domain Privacy Settings
After you pick a domain extension, review the cart before hitting the purchase button. Don’t forget to check whether domain privacy protection is enabled.
Most common top-level domains (TLDs) like .com, .net, .org, and .co support domain privacy protection. However, some domain extensions don’t allow it. For more information, Google Domains Help contains more information on each specific domain extension and whether it supports domain privacy.
The following is an example of purchasing a .net domain with available privacy protection:
4. Add Domain Privacy to an Existing Domain Name
If you already have a domain name, adding domain privacy is also possible. Keep in mind that your registrar might charge extra to activate the service.
In addition, each registrar has different steps to activate domain privacy protection. Here is how to enable WHOIS privacy on an existing domain name:
- Log in to your domain registrar account and seek out the Domains panel.
- Then, look for your domain name and click Manage or Edit. The option depends on your registrar.
- When you see that domain privacy is disabled, click Enable or Activate.
- There will be a popup message informing you about the extra charge.
- Click Complete Payment. Once again, the process will depend on the company.
- Wait until you receive a confirmation that domain privacy has been enabled.
Implementing domain privacy on your domain name is important to ensure the security of your business and personal information. It will help minimize the risk of data exploitation by cybersecurity threats. The most straightforward way to opt for domain privacy protection is to select it when purchasing your domain.
Additionally, it’s possible to add a domain privacy service to an existing domain name. Note that the method of purchasing the service will vary depending on your registrar.