Is domain privacy protection necessary?
When you purchase a domain name from any hosting service, you’ll likely be prompted to add on a number of features, one being domain privacy protection.
Businesses in the UK each faced 686,961 attempts on average to breach their systems online in 2020, according to specialist internet service provider Beaming. That’s an attack every 46 seconds, making 2020 the busiest year on record for it.
The truth is, anyone’s personal data is susceptible to cyberattacks and data breaches, but the extra security domain privacy provides to protect your website, personal information, and identity is definitely useful.
What is Domain Privacy Protection?
Domain Privacy Protection is a service offered by most domain hosts that will keep your personal information, such as name, email, phone number, and physical address, private.
Here’s why it might be useful for you:
To hide your information
When you buy and register a domain name for your website, you need to provide your personal details. These details are made publicly available in the WHOIS database. WHOIS is short for “Who is responsible for this domain name?”. Its database stores the internet registrant data and is accredited by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.
This database is basically a list of all the registered domains worldwide, and anyone can search this to find out who owns a domain name or see if a domain is available.
Domain Privacy Protection’s job is to hide this information from the public WHOIS database. It does this by masking personal information connected to your domain.
It is also a paid-for service that is not always included when you buy a domain.
To prevent scam emails and calls (data scraping)
If you noticed that soon after registering your domain name you received a number of marketing emails and phone calls, you may have been a victim of data scraping. This is where a company gathers masses of information that is available from public databases and saves it onto a spreadsheet or a local file to be used for various purposes.
Many groups and individuals do this so that they can sell the information to businesses and organisations for a profit.
And while data scraping may leave you susceptible to spam phone calls and messages, that’s not the worst that could happen. Having your information publicly available can also increase your risk of getting hacked, and having your identity stolen.
Investing in domain name privacy is therefore a practical way to prevent this from happening.
To prevent domain theft
Domain theft or hijacking is when someone changes your domain’s registration information without your permission. This is possible if someone has access to your email address and domain registration account.
Hackers can use your domain to aid other cyber-attacks like malware installation or phishing. In other words, they might create web pages identical to the ones on your website, especially pages that collect sensitive customer data.
Losing control of your domain can lead to data loss, financial loss and loss of your business reputation.
Luckily, domain privacy protection masks your information so hackers are going to have a hard time getting into your accounts without all the right credentials.
Do I need it?
Whether you need domain privacy is up to you – it can help keep personal information private, protect you from spam mail, prevent your information from falling into the wrong hands, and stop people from trying to purchase your domain.
While there is no surefire way to protect yourself from data breaches, investing in domain privacy protection is a great place to start.
If you are having trouble choosing a domain name for your website, check out our guide on how to choose a domain name for your website, or if you have any questions about domain privacy protection, contact our team at email@example.com.