What is domain privacy and do I really need it?

What is domain privacy and do I really need it?

Did you know the contact details attached to your web hosting domain are publicly available thanks to the WHOIS listings? This is why HostPapa and other web hosting providers offer domain privacy for a small surcharge.

Now, you might ask yourself, do I really need it?

The simple answer is no. As a website owner, you do not need to purchase domain privacy. However, the service offers a number of important benefits, including reducing spam and unwanted solicitations. We think any website owner will be better off for making a small investment in his or her privacy. And in fact… tens of thousands of HostPapa clients would probably agree!

What is domain privacy?

Every domain name has a WHOIS listing, which is a searchable database of registered domains. It is available to everyone on the Internet. Without domain privacy, or WHOIS privacy protection, all of your contact information (address, phone number, name, etc) is available to the public.

With WHOIS privacy, however, your personal information is shielded and the information belonging to your domain registrar is visible instead.

Even if you have a legitimate postal address and nothing to hide, WHOIS privacy can help:

  • Control spam and junk snail mail.
  • Hide your website from competitors doing market research.
  • Prevent firms from capturing your information to resell to others.
  • Avoid stalkers and fraudsters.
  • Control your personal information and privacy. Do you really want everyone online knowing your address?

WHOIS privacy protection is purchased by most website owners for all of the above reasons. We believe it’s an important way to help reduce spam, scams, and unwanted Internet traffic.

There may be some businesses which welcome any added traffic and the visibility of a WHOIS listing. In most cases, however, domain privacy protection provides a layer of security and peace of mind.

As an aside, there are some domain types (such as those ending in .ca) that automatically have privacy enabled, without the need to purchase. If the domain you are using falls into this category, enjoy the added level of protection!

In summary, although domain privacy isn’t mandatory, the little bit of extra cost can save you time and trouble down the road.

James is an important member of the content team at HostPapa. Although he enjoys writing and web design, what he really loves is hiking with his German Shepard Lucy.

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