26 June 2013

Domain Registration: Protect Your Privacy When You Register a Domain Name

Domain Names
Domain Names
World Wide Web. Domain registration is the mandatory first step towards putting a website live on the internet. However, one must remember that it is really important to protect personal information while carrying out domain registration. Likewise protection of domain names is also crucial for ensuring safety from hackers. Hackers can illegally divert all the incoming traffic to their website and can get access to the website owner's personal information and email data, such as contact ids. Therefore, protection of privacy is one of the most important areas to be worked upon while registering a domain.  

Importance of privacy protection in domain registration

As an integral part of domain registration process on the internet, the website owner's personal data including name, contact details and personal email is listed on the public WHOIS database. This means that a website owner's personal information can be easily exploited for wrong purposes. Therefore, the domain registrar provides a paid service called Domain Privacy through which they remove the website owner's information from the WHOIS registry. The domain registrar replaces the contact name and email address of the website owner with details of a forwarding service (for emailing purpose done by a proxy server). At present, several forwarding service providers are active in the market, such as Domains by Proxy, Inc.  and eNom's ID Protect.

Privacy protection through a domain registrar

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the organisation that is behind all domain registration being done on the World Wide Web and regulates the name and number conventions used on the internet. It must be noted that ICANN requires mailing address, contact number and email address of the website's owner to be publicly listed on the WHOIS directories. However, this policy is exploited by spammers, identity thieves, direct marketers, hackers and other individuals for wrong purposes. Therefore, privacy solutions are provided by registrars for mitigating the risks posed by public listing of a domain name owners' information on the WHOIS directory.

The typical set of services offered by a domain name registrar include changing contact details on WHOIS directories, updating name servers, control A and MX records, Privacy Protection and Domain Theft Protection. A domain name registrar also provides bulk tools and an easy to use control panel. Many service providers also offer a service called transfer lock or domain lock, which keeps a domain name safe from unauthorized transfers. Currently, there are several registrars that provide cheap domain names with a privacy option for some basic monthly charge or even free of cost. Therefore, proper market research must be done before finalizing upon a certain domain registration service provider.

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