Should I have domain name privacy protection?

domain name privacy security

Privacy of one’s personal information is very important and crucial thing then talking about safety. New businesses or entrepreneurs start their business, not everyone knows about every single little detail that is important to know.

For example, if you want to launch your own website, some web hosting services provide discounts or freebies. Some may even give you free domain and hosting for 1 year. But then you buy or get a free domain, you have to register under your name and that becomes public information. 

If you are interested, read on about domain privacy protection and the choices you have to secure your information.

What is WHOIS?

The WHOIS database consists of all domains registered in the world. After a WHOIS check, you can see a variety of data related to domains: their registration date, expiration date, domain ID, registrar name, contact information, or even server information. 

This WHOIS database is public and accessible to all. The database is maintained and constantly updated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), so your data will be recorded and maintained in this database when the site is created.

Depending on whether the registrant is a natural or legal person and a domain suffix, the following information may be made public: domain owner name, contact information, order and expiration date, domain status and registrar, name servers, and in some cases the owner’s address may be disclosed, for example when registering a domain. 

What is WHOIS privacy protection?

Most domain registrars provide a domain information security service. The domain owner may decide to provide public domain data to the extent permitted by the central registries regulation and state law. For example, domain information can be displayed in accordance with your country’s personal data protection laws. 

Usually in most countries the information of registered domains of legal entities is more detailed than that of registered natural persons according to the registry regulation. Often the contact email is hidden to protect the domain owner from spam attacks.

GDPR and what it changed for domain owners

After GDPR domain privacy protection becomes more like an option, and not the must-have. Before GDPR domain owners would purchase a domain privacy protection plan to secure their information. 

Spring of 2018 was the time then the EU implemented privacy regulations to protect personal data of EU citizens that is called General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR. Breaking those rules can be very expensive because it has quite stiff fines and penalties. 

The GDPR prohibits the use of any personal data if there is no consent from that person. Also in the consent the data usage should be clearly defined. 

After several legal battles, ICANN tries to accommodate the wide-ranging regulations of the GDPR while making some website and IP registrant information still available to the public.  Personal information about the registrar can’t be viewed without a specific request that data owners can refuse. 

This amendment of ICANN was temporary, so additional domain privacy protection is also available and if you are cautious about your private information, you should consider buying extra protection. 

In the end, the domain privacy protection is mostly used by persons and not legal entities. The GDPR made sure that EU citizens are protected, but if you are not an EU citizen, you should consider buying domain privacy protection. 

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