Is it time to stop using Whois privacy for your domains?

Those of you unfamiliar with the term, Whois privacy is a service offered by most domain registrars that protects your domain name from people that perform a reverse lookup on your domain name.

It is, essentially, a way to protect your personal information from being available for all to see. Domains with Whois privacy enabled do not reveal the details (like name and contact information) about the registrant — which could be either you, or your business.

Instead the registration information displays the name and contact details of either your domain registrar, or in other cases companies that offer these privacy services like WhoisGuard, WhoisProtect, among others.

Now, wind back the calendar by a few years and you will find that most people recommended usage of a Whois privacy service. Or, you know, registering with a domain registrar that provided these services for free or as value add.

Thing is that this strategy might have worked back then, but using these options now actually reduces your credibility a little — of course, spammers and scammers have the most legitimate reasons to hide their contact information.

But for the regular online marketer? Not so much.

There are some that now opine that search engines and email spam filters take this domain data into consideration. Some even suggest not doing business with an online store that hides Whois information, as that is a sure fire path towards suspicion.

However, for most online marketers, these are risks worth taking.

Not every consumer looks up Whois information before placing an order. And enabling this privacy also affords users that is working from their home peace of mind. Imagine a creepy character showing up on in front of your door, uninvited, just because you do not have the luxury of a physical office building.

Plus, not revealing personal information also helps prevent spam emails and scam calls.

A small level of protection this way is better than having your information publicly available for everyone to see, even if it means some setbacks with newsletter delivery and search engine result pages. At least for the majority of online marketers.

Leave a Comment Below

  • Very interesting. I think I understand using this is if you’re registered as an individual and want to protect your personal information. However, if you’re registered as a business, I think there’s not really a point to protect it because you could lose credibility.

  • I think people should be allowed their privacy. I get the concern nowadays, but if a business or person chooses to remain private, I won’t hold it against them. Thought-provoking read though Elaine. Thanks!

    • I agree, but unfortunately the world we live in does not. Our society is an open book nowadays whether we like it or not. Because of that, I think it is time to stop using whois privacy. Although if it was up to me as an individual, I wouldn’t.

      • You’re right Drew. Everyone is expected to be totally public with anything. However, if I had my druthers, I’d be private with my information.

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