Protecting your (domain) privacy

Everyone wants their website address to be known, but how many of us would hand out our phone number and home address to strangers? If you don’t have domain privacy with your web host or domain registrar, that’s exactly what you’re doing. In my free time, I’m an artist. I hand out business cards to people who might want to buy my work or hire me for freelance projects. But I don’t really want them to know where I live. After all, people can be crazy. That’s why I’m a firm believer in domain privacy.

When you register a domain, you do a couple of things. On the most basic level you’re reserving your right to use a certain domain for a certain period of time. You also provide a domain registrar with your name and address; this is part of what registers the domain to you. What many people don’t know is that the information becomes an easily searchable part of the public record. With a site like network-tools.com, anyone can find out the address and phone number of any website owner.

Domain privacy is a service provided by a web host or domain registrar and allows you to have your information listed anonymously, in a way that still complies with the rules set out by ICANN, the group that governs domain registrations. This is a service that most web hosts provide. Some charge a fee, and some provide it for free. Since it tends not to be a big flashy feature, you often won’t find it advertised. Good web hosting reviews will tell you how much it costs, and how well it works.