When you register a domain name, some of your personal information becomes public record. This information about the registrant is called Domain Whois. A registrant can either be an individual or a company, so it’s common to see names of people or companies.
In an effort to maintain accurate information on all registrants, ICANN has required that all registrars collect specific information about each registrant.
A Domain Whois Lookup will reveal the following information:
- The name of the registered name
- The names of the primary nameserver and secondary nameservers for the registered name
- The identity of registrar (which may be provided through the registrar’s website)
- The original creation date of the registration
- The expiration date of the registration
- The name and postal address of the registered name holder
- The name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available) fax number of the technical contact for the registered name
- The name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available) fax number of the administrative contact for the registered name
Your Whois info would only be displayed when a searcher is specifically inquiring about a domain name registered under your name. I don’t know about you, but when I registered my first domain name, I was a bit uncomfortable about disclosing my personal address, email and phone number to the entire world. To make matters worse, some sites are making it easier for people to access your Domain Whois info by creating static webpages of millions of domain names.
What if you don’t want to reveal all this info to the public?
Fortunately there is a solution. Most registrars offer a service that allows you to hide your personal information when a Whois Lookup is performed. The name of the service varies depending on which registrar you’re with, but it’s most commonly called Whois Privacy or Whois Protection in the industry. When Whois Privacy is activated for a domain name, the personal information of the registrant is replaced by the contact information of the registrar. This means that your personal information is not publicly viewable and all email messages intended for the domain owner simply gets forwarded without revealing the owner’s email address.
Want to know which domain registrars offer free Whois Privacy? Check here.