Sunday, May 03, 2009

Small webmasters should consider "private" registration for WHOIS


Here is another little safety tip for people who run their own domains on the web, perhaps even for home-based businesses. Many registrars (such as Network Solutions) will offer “private registration” for typically about $10 a year, to provide alternate contact information. Your personal information remains private, and your email address is changed every ten days or so. If someone has a legitimate need to contact you (as for a legal matter), the registrar contacts you. But the WHOIS database no longer has any personal information, including email. The Network Solutions link explaining the benefits is this.

Not everyone may need this. Some people use mail boxes as UPS stores or similar facilities and may have adequate spam controls on their email address. But another risk of not using it is that one’s email address is used to spoof as a sender of other party’s spam, something that might cause reputation problems with customers. Again, these sorts of problems could be contained by an email infrastructure that verifies sender-id.

Another problem to bear in mid is that, yes, there are companies that sell “unlisted” personal information, barely within what is legally permissible.

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