First, let us understand the basics of WHOIS data.
What is the ICANN WHOIS Directory?
ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the nonprofit organization tasked with managing the domain name system of the larger internet. That includes generating new top-level domains and operating root name servers. But the task they’re most known for is running the WHOIS directory.
The WHOIS directory keeps a record of every active website domain and who runs it. ICANN doesn’t manage it entirely on their own, they work with a number of registrants that earn ICANN accreditation in order to offer domain registration services. When you register a domain, you don’t go directly through ICANN, you do so with one of these services. They then provide the required information to ICANN, which adds it to the directory.
Why The Directory is required?
The WHOIS directory exists to make sure there’s a clear record of who owns each website on the web. That’s important for cases where a website owner veers into illegal or abusive territory. Without a record of how to find offenders, authorities would have no way to hold them accountable and minimize harm.
It is especially helpful in the following scenarios.
Tracking and locating a scammer or a hacker.
Businesses or lawyers seek to identify people guilty of stealing or misusing intellectual property, such as plagiarists or people who use images they don’t have the rights for.
Internet companies want to limit the power of people guilty of spam or other nuisances or malicious behavior online.
What Is Domain Privacy Protection?
Now coming back to our main topic of discussion, Domain Privacy protection and why it is necessary.
As discussed above, When you register a domain name, your personal details are saved in a publicly available database called WHOIS. This information on WHOIS is available to everyone over the Internet. Without Domain Privacy Protection, all your data is available to the public. Your entire personal information including name, phone number, and email address can be immediately viewed by everyone. This gives rise to a strong possibility of your personal information being misused for nefarious purposes.
Here is where Domain privacy comes into the picture.
Domain privacy is an add-on service offered by many domain registration companies that keeps your personal information private while keeping you in compliance with the law. It can provide a sense of security, but thanks to new updates to international regulations aimed at protecting online privacy, buying domain privacy protection is a choice, not a must-do, for your small or mid-size business or professional website.
Currently, domain owners can choose to use a privacy service to protect their personal information. So, instead of your name, address, and other contact information appearing on the domain registration, the proxy’s information will appear instead. ICANN estimates that about 20 percent of domains currently on the Internet use privacy or proxy services to protect their information. They can be especially relevant for home-based entrepreneurs who don’t want their home addresses or other contact information made available to the public.
Should You Buy Domain Name Privacy Protection?
In terms of domain privacy, the GDPR and ICANN’s temporary fix effectively provide basic protections for sensitive personal data stored in Whois databases, so that may be enough protection for some users without the need for purchasing additional domain privacy protection. ICANN continues to work with GDPR authorities to find a lasting solution—and eliminating Whois databases may be one option.
Meanwhile, it’s up to website owners themselves to determine the privacy protections for their sites. Buying domain privacy protection can give site owners more control over the display of Whois data and add layers of protection against spam, data theft, and even “real world,” threats due to the publication of a user’s home address and phone number. Domain privacy protection plans are available at relatively low cost, and some are even free. Plans can be renewed or canceled with your domain renewal.
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Information is the currency of the digital world, and in that world, personal data can be more valuable than gold. The GDPR and its related regulations aim to protect that data on a global scale, and this includes key personal data held in domain databases. Owners of domains large and small can opt for added security in the form of dedicated domain privacy plans that keep the most sensitive Whois information out of the wrong hands.
Benefits shortlisted :
- The basic benefits of domain privacy protection are listed as under
- Identity Theft
- Personal Protection
- Illegal Commercial Emailing
- Unwanted Phone Calls
- Spam and Junk Emails
- Protect Competitors from Finding Your Info
Though it is not compulsory to turn on Domain Privacy Protection, it is worth enabling it as it offers protection which is always and most important.
Hope you found this post helpful. Do leave a comment below if you have any queries.