A WHOIS system basically functions as the Internet’s phone book. It has information like email address or phone number of the person who bought a domain from Internet registrars like Crazy Domains. This is a database that is publicly available for viewing for a couple of reasons:
- Accountability – so that nefarious schemes made by a webmaster online can be easily detected
- Contact information – so that webmasters can see who to contact if they want to know more about the website owner
- Reputation management – a marketer can easily purchase domain names off of webmasters to keep their branding unique, in the event that they share a domain name but with a different extension. Also, if you own a popular website, allowing everyone to know that you own it is kind of motivating.
However, with a publicly available database comes countless deviants ready to use it for all the wrong reasons. Which is why webmasters need to make full use of the privacy controls for WHOIS.
Reducing the amount of spam
We all know that marketers who are very persistent when it comes to sending out emails are much like a hydra — if you remove one, two more will take its place. So totally avoiding them may be hard. What they do is collect all the email addresses from the database and add it to their mailing list for easy mass sending. It’s unsolicited email or spam, and while we love the food, we hate the email version of it.
Keeping personal information safe
Identity theft is one of the most common cybercrimes, and it is obviously one of the risks in making your information public. Remember that not all thieves are out to get your credit card information, some of them just wants to mess with you and your customers — a sort of online psychopath, if you will.
Separating work and play
In addition to keeping your information away from slimy hands, the WHOIS Privacy will allow you to separate personal accounts from your work accounts. For instance, if you air out an unpopular opinion on Twitter, you wouldn’t be at risk of losing our customers because they wouldn’t know it was you in the first place since your identity is hidden.
Keep your physical location safe
Personal information are not the only ones at risk of being compromised, your physical location share those risks too. Doxxing is a type of online practice that hackers do by using the Internet to get your information and use it for malicious intent. A typical doxxer may just be satisfied with stealing your name or bank information, but there are those who prefer to expose physical locations like a house address. If you happen to get the attention of people with extremely violent behaviour, it’s best to keep your address safe.
Hiding ownership information
For many digital marketing firms that offer website creation, part of the package may be registering their clients’ domain and hosting it on their own server. Which means that the information registered at WHOIS can possibly be that of the marketing firm and not the client. This is a common enough practice, so this is okay to do. However, to help protect the branding of the client, the WHOIS privacy is used so the hosting and designer information is kept from public view.
Remember that anything you do online is recorded or registered somewhere for accountability purposes. But there are people out there who have nothing to do but steal data and use it to harm. You can avoid this on your website by purchasing a WHOIS Privacy feature.