Domain Privacy Protection, Closing the Hole to Thievery.
Last Update: Feb 23, 2016
Domains are a very important part of your business and when you buy a domain, it is usually a very exciting moment as you are buying a “piece” of the Internet. You are claiming your stake on your online brand and you are purchasing the future in your business.
But one thing that people take for granted is their privacy. Unfortunately, when you buy domains through most services, your personal contact details are not kept protected from the general public, and worse yet, solicitors and scammers.
When these contact details are left open, you open yourself up to people calling you and offering you services, tricking you into buying things you don’t need, and emailing/mailing you to make you various offers and solicitations.
This is why domain privacy protection plays such an important role in your business. This is know as protecting your WHOIS data (“who is”).
How Does Domain/WHOIS Privacy Work?
When you buy a domain, by default your contact information for that domain is made public with most domain registrars (unless you pay a premium). This can easily be looked up through one of the many free whois search engines out there.
Here is one that I use.
If you go there and type in your domain name, you will be able to see if your contact are private or public. By default, all domains you buy here at WA are set to make your contact details private through our "domain privacy protection", Domain Shield. Here is what the whois will look like for this.
As you can see the domain is registered with domain details that are particular to the domain protection organization, DOMAIN SHEILD which are static contact details for every domain that is purchased here at WA (and this is what protects you).
But what exactly can happen if you leave your domains information wide open to the world...
Domains Not Private? The Ways You Might Get Scammed.
There are many ways that people are being contacted through their whois contact details (when they are left as not protected). You will either be contacted by email, snail mail, or telephone with one of the following offers:
- Offering to renew your domain at higher prices. There is one such company that in Canada that does this called iDNS (internet domain name services) and they try to create panic in domain owners making them feel as though they need to renew their domains using their service (which happens to be $40/year for a .com). Your domain will automatically renew through the domain registrar your purchased through, if you bought through SiteDomains, you will pay the same price every year. This is a pure and blatant attempt overcharge and you can see one such letter I received just last week from them.
- Selling Similar domains. Lots of the time you will get contacted by a company/individuals that tries to sell you a similar domain (see below). You have no reason to buy similar domains, in particular at the Premium price that they will want to charge you (usually $100+).
- Offering SEO services. Lots of the times someone will phone you or email you telling you that you need special SEO submission services for your domain. This is a lie, this is another scam.
- Offering high ticket training/mentoring packages. There are people that are claiming to be “Wealthy Affiliate” related out there trying to do this. If your domain is not private, they will contact you saying they are from Wealthy Affiliate and try to sell you some $1,000+ mentoring package. Total scam.
- The “probers”. People will call you or email you not telling you what they want, rather inquiring and asking you to call them back. One such lady called just the other day and left a voicemail on our business phone. Complete and utter scam.
Most Domain Registrars Charge For Domain Privacy?
The likes of Namecheap.com and GoDaddy.com, two of the biggest and most reputable domain registrars charge for their whois services. These can range from $2.88/year at Namecheap.com to much more at $7.99 per year if you want to protect your domain on Godaddy.
This can really add up and since this is an essential part of a domain purchase, you definitely do want to choose this option as part of the upsell/checkout process. A $12-14 domain soon becomes much more expensive (closer to $22 at Godaddy.com).
We have taken the initiative to change how the industry behaves with the SiteDomains platform. We make EVERY domain, by default, completely private and protected against solicitors and scammers. In fact, we include everything you need in the domain costs, privacy, domain protection, email, auto dns, and next year price guarantee.
This is something that is not offered anywhere in the industry and we have done this because we feel that the domain industry behaves like the internet marketing industry, consumers are being taken advantage of.
Your contact details are 100% private with any domain you purchase using SiteDomains here at WA.
So do know that, a domain registrar or a company that contacts you by PHONE, MAIL or EMAIL that you are unaware of or that even “pretends” to be part of another company is a solicitor/scam. Please be careful and MAKE SURE you register all your domains privately.
If you have a story you would like to share about this or have any questions
I really appreciate the information that you have provided. Please continue to keep us informed and well-heeled with tools to improve conversions.
Gladly, many people have brought solicitation attempts to my attention lately and they had no idea how their contact details were getting found online, hopefully this will offer a lot of clarity to folks on protection your personal info.
Question: Why is my who-is showing Panama as address and hosting?
You have used the privacy thing that has block out your personal info; they always use some Panama address to mask off your real personal info.
Yeah, Namecheap's whois privacy company is located in Panama. Nothing to be alarmed about, that will be the static contact details if you use the privacy protection over there.
While I'm happy with Namecheap, it would be great to have everything in one place and safe at that. You and Carson are always right on top of things. Thanks! ~Debbi
Jaker just asked my question, Thanks. Great stuff Kyle, thank you for protecting us here at WA, and with very affordable prices.
No problem David, we will continue to integrate services that we feel can be done better than "what is out there". Lots to look forward to in the year ahead. :)
if you bought a domain through go daddy can you use site domains to renew it and keep it with wa from then on?
Not yet but the ability to transfer your domains from elsewhere over to SiteDomains is going to be available very soon. ;)
Yes, to add on something from my experience, I have domain bought from namecheap, the domain privacy part have to do some configuration to block it out from whois. I have bought the privacy thing but did not do anything, when I check the whois and I can see all the information being expose.
Every more reason to use the SiteDomains platform here at WA, I have had similar troubles using NC as their interface can be a little confusing to use.
At NameCheap, purchasing WhoIsGuard and applying it to a domain are two separate steps. Once you've purchased WhoIsGuard, you need to activatate it for the domain.
Yeah, I have had the same thing happen. I have had a domain renew but my whois privacy for my domain was not set to renew and since they are separate charges, all my contact details went public. I only realized this was the case when I started getting solicited for this particular domain.
Just thinking, wonder if you register a domain with the intention to sell it, would it be advisable not to use the whois privacy so you can wait for people to approach you to make an offer. Or keep the privacy and put the domain name on Flippa or some site to sell.
Since I've never bought domain names with the intent of selling them, I don't have any good suggestions in that regard.
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I love it that you can get domains here! I will be purchasing my new website's domain name here at WA for sure. I like the privacy aspect as well. Thanks.
Yeah, we wanted to offer a simple and powerful solution. We don't love the domain industry because of the upsells like this, things that we have always believed should be included within a domain name.