It’s fortunate that these days greater number of people or businesses who are online are more aware of the need to be smart about when and where you make phone number and email addresses available. Phishing scams are likely if you’re negligent about where your contact details are accessible, and in worst case scenarios identity theft or even having your website hijacked can happen.
Anyone who knows anything about acting will be familiar with what a stand-in does for an actor while on set, and they’re very valuable that way. The way domain privacy works is kind of like that it is the actor’s stand-in that it’s a service that replaces the individual’s contact information with that of the service provider. Doing this secures you against anyone who might be trying to access your details with the aim of initiating fraud or malevolent practice.
Business owners investing in expensive websites will want to consider getting the domain privacy add-on when building their website or having it built for them. Keep in mind as well that contact information doesn’t need to be publicly displayed on your website to have it still be available. The aim needs to be with making sure it doesn’t end up in WHOIS records and this is a way to protect you from spambots that exclusively check WHOIS data.
This option is going to make a lot of sense for man individuals or businesses, and the growing need for expanding web security practices makes domain privacy a topic that any good Canadian web hosting provider is going to take an interest in and that’s true for us here at 4GoodHosting too. So this is what we’ll look at with our blog entry this week.
The way domain privacy functions starts with how domain names are registered. That’s something we are explicitly familiar with and most internet domain names found in use on the Internet are registered through an organization called ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. Domain owners must provide their name and contact information when purchasing a new domain name and the information is then listed on a database that has the name WHOIS.
Once it is catalogued in the directory it becomes accessible to anyone on the internet via the many free domain lookup tools. Anyone with an internet connection can find one easily and use it. Domain privacy makes it possible to hide your contact information from the WHOIS directory and make a random email address and the registrar’s own contact details available instead of your own.
We should as well that there are legitimate reasons why ICANN makes it a requirement that every website owner put their contact details on display publicly. One of the bigger ones i the way it makes it easier for law enforcement agencies to track people in case there’s illegal activity on their websites. Helping lawyers hold website owners accountable in cases involving plagiarism and copyright infringement is important too.
It also makes it possible for people who are interested in buying your domain to contact, although those aren’t always harmless communications either. But the bad of it can be with people trying to send you marketing spam over email or phone. It is true that hackers have used contact information to hijack websites, and putting site addressees in line to be targets you for phishing scams happens very regularly.
Look to EU’s GDPR
Hackers and spammers often have dedicated bots at work crawling through WHOIS directories in order to generate lists of contact details and then pick and choose the ones where they think they see the most promise with whatever it is they’re aiming to do. When contact details don’t show up on the WHOIS records it’s much more likely a business will evade the attention of such systems and steer themselves clear of any of these types of problems.
Here in North America we might want to look at what has happened with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and how it relates to better protections for businesses that need to make contact information available. This new set of data regulations aimed at protecting your internet privacy is going far with this and it’s creating legislation resulting in everyone protected under EU law will see their contact details redacted in WHOIS listings across the internet.
Apparently seeing ‘redacted for privacy’ rather than the actual contact information is what people will see. It may be wise for policy makers here in North America to do the same thing to offer people those same types of assurances when they’re doing business online.