When registering your premium website domain, one of the questions you will have to answer is whether you should purchase domain privacy.
If you don’t know what domain privacy is, you first have to understand how domain registration works.
When you purchase a domain from a registrar, that registrar is legally required to give your personal information to the WHOIS database. The WHOIS is a public directory of who owns which website domains. It contains full names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers, among other information. Domain privacy is an extra service you can purchase to prevent your personal information from being listed in WHOIS.
Need help deciding whether to purchase domain privacy? Let’s go over the pros and cons.
Here are the benefits of purchasing domain privacy:
1. Decreased risk of identity theft
Your risk of identity theft is higher when your information is listed in the WHOIS database, where anybody can access it. Identity thieves often use services that regularly publish lists of new domain registers, so they can easily find new potential targets. Domain privacy protects your personal information from these unscrupulous people.
2. Prevent spam and solicitations
With your phone number and your email address listed in the WHOIS, you may find yourself getting a lot of calls from telemarketers and emails from spammers. Once your information is out there, it can be time consuming and aggravating to remove yourself from these call and email lists.
However, if you purchase domain privacy, people who look up your domain in the WHOIS will only see a proxy email address that will forward to a private email address of your choice. This proxy address will change regularly to prevent spam.
3. Safe and honest
You may be tempted to enter false information when you register your domain in order to protect your privacy. But if you are caught giving false information, you could lose your domain altogether. Purchasing domain privacy is a safe and honest way to keep your information hidden.
4. Low cost
Domain privacy typically only costs an extra $5 to $9. This is a pretty small price to pay to protect your information.
Those are the basic advantages of purchasing domain privacy. Now, let’s look at the downsides:
1. It might not be worth it
Even though domain privacy is inexpensive, you may decide it isn’t worth the cost. Large businesses often forego domain privacy because their business address, email, and phone number are already widely accessible, so it doesn’t make sense to pay extra money to hide them from the WHOIS.
Domain privacy is most beneficial for individual bloggers who want to protect their personal information and small business owners who may not want their contact information widely circulated. But that leads us into the second disadvantage…
2. You eliminate a point of contact
If you do run a business, the WHOIS could be another means of providing potential customers with your contact information. It could also be helpful for making your contact info available to someone interested in buying your website, which may be beneficial if you’re someone trying to make money blogging. You’ll have to decide whether this strategy is worthwhile; you might think it’s sufficient just to have your contact information on your website.
If you do decide to purchase domain privacy, you can do so when you are registering your domain, or any time after. It is easiest to add domain privacy to your cart when you first purchase the domain. If you don’t see an option to do so, call the registrar’s customer service number.
If you already purchased your domain but want to add domain privacy, you can do so by contacting your registrar.
Ultimately, domain privacy has more benefits than detriments, and most people decide it’s worth the extra expense. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind that your information is safe.