When you register a domain name, some of the top registrars will offer you a privacy option for an annual fee. This can be a valuable option for you, depending upon your circumstances.
In order to decide if you need this privacy option, let’s back up a little bit and learn why it’s offered in the first place.
The Whois database contains information about every domain name that is registered. It’s publicly available, so any information you have included when you register a domain name is readily available. It includes the creation and expiration of the domain name, along with the name and contact information of the person who registered it. The information must be correct, or the owner of the domain name can lost the registration. This is a requirement of ICANN (Internet Corporate of Assigned Names and Numbers).
Public registration of this nature means the entire world has access to your name, address, phone number, and email address. If you have a store or office location, and this is what you have used for registration, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You may still want to set up a separate email for domain registration to protect your main email, since spammers us the database to mine email addresses.
However, if you are using your name along with a home address and phone number, this could be a serious privacy issue for you and your family. Again, the Whois database is available to the entire world and is easily accessed, yet most of us like to maintain a certain modicum of privacy when it comes to the Internet. Fortunately there is a work-around for this situation.
Keeping Your Personal Information Private
Some domain name registrars allow customers to set up an account with an affiliated privacy service for a small annual fee. This account contains all your private information; however, the Whois Database contains the information of the privacy service company instead of yours. Never fear, if someone wants to buy your domain name for a huge amount of money, the privacy company will forward the email to you!
As a safeguard for yourself and your family, the $10 or so annual fee is well worth the investment. When you register with a cheap domain name registrar who offers this service you’ve got the best of both worlds – a reasonably priced registration fee along with personal privacy.