Online Business

WHOIS Database and the Extra Cost of Privacy

  • Lawrence Ward
  •      -     
  • September 8, 2018
  •      -     

Pay for It Now or you Could Pay for Later

Domain Privacy Protection is security that hides the domain registrant’s personal information from the public domain databases within the World Wide Web. Whois is an organization that manages data accounts concerning domain registrations, renewals and expiration.

The basis for the Whois database is for registering website names. Registrants must apply to the Whois database for their new website to appear on the internet. The WHOIS database determines what names are available, identify when trademarks are encroached upon and maintain registrant’s domain name accounts. Registrants must comply in updating their information annually and refusal can cause their website to be suspended or cancelled.

Whois privacy is needed to protect registrant’s information from predators wishing to abuse website owner’s reputation; mostly through identity theft. Domains by Proxy provide on their website an example of how a registrant’s personal information could be viewed and not be viewed. See below.

Public Whois Private Whois

Registrant: John Smith Domains by Proxy

1234 Elm Street 14455 N Hayden Road

Hometown, AZ 85000 Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Domain Name: Registered through Registered through

Created on: 15-Oct-02 15-Oct-02

Expires on: 15-Oct-03 15-Oct-03

Last Updated: 17-Oct-02 17-Oct-02

Administrative Contact: John Smith Domains by Proxy

1234 Elm Street 14455 N Hayden Road

Hometown, AZ 85000 Scottsdale, AZ 85260

+1.4805555555 +1.4806242599

Technical Contact:

1234 Elm Street

Hometown, AZ 85000 14455 N. Hayden Road

+1.4805555555 Scottsdale, AZ 85260


Notice in each section the registrant’s information in the Public Whois column reveals John Smith’s personal information. The Private Whois column masks John’s personal information with a secured name address and phone number. Paying extra for the privacy service will shield the registrant’s personal information from strangers and unwanted contact. If the registrant is sent an email from protected email address; it is a dummy email account which will not forward the letter to his/her actual email address.

The blog mentioned concern about registrant’s information protected from “all eyes”. Well some registrars do sell some of their client’s information to third parties. The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has put rules in place for registrars violating registrants’ privacy, but is a non-for-profit organization, so it does not offer a high enforcement of its rules. Registrants will need to research the registrar before signing. You have to read the fine print before you sign a contract with a domain privacy provider.

The registrant name that the website will be registered under must be considered, because that name will be the legal owner of the website. It could mean that if the name of the person who has paid for the registration of the website and keep the personal information protected is different from the registered name; may have to take the registrar to court if there is a dispute between the two.

Whois privacy is not mandatory, but paying for it now could prevent from paying for it in an unseen issue later.



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