Do you guys hide WHOIS info?

by jkiley
30 replies
My personal info is open if somebody wants to do WHOIS on my domain names. I am wondering what you guys do, and what are the pros and cons for it?

Thank
#guys #hide #info #whois
  • Profile picture of the author David_Nilsson
    I do not hide mine but when I am filling out the address details I only put in my street name and not the number. I live on a very long road.
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  • Profile picture of the author Negotiator74
    Mine are private. It just makes sense to me to keep my business.....well......mine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Schwenk
    I personally hide mine. The only advantage I would see to leaving your WHOIS info open, is if it is on a domain that you are just squatting on and want people to be able to easily contact you to submit an offer.

    Even so, that's not necessary. Many sites include some sort of option/feature to submit a bid on your domain's park page.

    Furthermore, if someone needs to contact you, they can go through the standard procedure for a domain with private information. Why leave it open for that 1% of people that would 'need' it, when the other 99% could potentially have less-than-positive intentions?

    Just my two cents.

    -Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Rich Struck
    I use the free whoisguard thing at Namecheap but I don't really care either way - I just do it because it's free.
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    • Profile picture of the author grayambition
      I rent a box at one of those private mailbox places. I use that for registrations so I don't have to make my home address public.
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  • Profile picture of the author mainstreetcm
    I do it now because of a bill collection scam I was involved in... they got my info from a public WHOIS. Hounded not only me (cell phone was registered) but my grandparents (billing address at the time). It was a big ordeal that finally came to light that they got my info from the whois record...
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  • Profile picture of the author dbonline
    when registering sites I've never paid for private registration before, always just leave it public
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary McLean
    Good idea Jan...
    Mary
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  • Profile picture of the author jzmoore
    I keep mine private. Always keeping in mind the 2% rule (kooks) Some will love you for NO reason at all, some will hate you for NO reason at all. Protect your privacy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
      Something to consider when making this decision: If you plan to send much email, or have an affiliate program associated with the domain, anonymous (private) registration adds to the sense of scamminess if someone gets complaints.

      It has also been part of the consideration in at least one case in which someone was prosecuted for CAN-SPAM violations. Commercial email MUST include a valid postal address for the sender in the US.


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      • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
        For those who question that last comment: WHOIS Privacy Considered "Material Falsification"


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      • Profile picture of the author LB
        Originally Posted by Paul Myers View Post

        Something to consider when making this decision: If you plan to send much email, or have an affiliate program associated with the domain, anonymous (private) registration adds to the sense of scamminess if someone gets complaints.

        It has also been part of the consideration in at least one case in which someone was prosecuted for CAN-SPAM violations. Commercial email MUST include a valid postal address for the sender in the US.


        Paul
        Yes, but that was in a case of actual spam. I hide my whois info because of auto-harvesting of the info (I've more than once found my contact info in auto-generated spam blogs simply because it was taken from whois data). I've also received spam faxes about services for my domain and obviously email spam as well.

        My contact address is clearly available in all my emails and websites. If someone received email from me, they wouldn't need whois as it's clearly identified who it's from.

        Just another perspective.
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        • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
          Yes, but that was in a case of actual spam.
          And snowshoe spam, to boot.

          That doesn't mean it's not to be factored into a decision. For example, look at the number of people who offer a freebie without telling people up front that they're subscribing to a list. Even if you require confirmation, you still run the risk of confusing people. Then add some of the other mistakes inexperienced senders make, and you could be looking at CAN-SPAM violations due to a compounding of errors.

          The aggravating factor of making the contact more difficult (note: not impossible) could create problems.

          Unlikely? Sure. Impossible? Hell no.

          Std_Disclaimer: Still not a lawyer.


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          • Profile picture of the author Marian
            No I don't hide the information. But I believe the first year with a domain registered by Namecheap it's free.

            Marian
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          • Profile picture of the author websitemrktg
            Hide it just personal choice
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            • Profile picture of the author Paul Myers
              Upon further consideration, I don't think it has to remain unlikely. I was able to think up a system that could be programmed for a few hundred dollars, would require only 2 or 3 people to administer, and would enable them to monitor every single free subscription list in the IM field.

              If I can think that up in 3 minutes based on a casual comment, I wouldn't remain too confident that lack of resources will keep the FTC from watching everyone more closely. Automation cuts both ways.


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  • Profile picture of the author darean
    I personally do not hide my WHOIS information, for the simple reason that I want my Business to be transparent and open, just like Google, or any public company. You only want to hide things when you feel like the invasion of privacy is something you hold dear in your heart. I don't think that its necessary. I feel you're making yourself conflicted with these thoughts. Just find out who you really are deep down inside your core. Are you a introvert or extrovert? Find that out and you have your answer on whether you want to hide your WHOIS or not.
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    • Profile picture of the author NenadR
      I think that keeping things open will help slightly for me to get my sites to rank, so I am keeping them open. Other than that, I don't really care.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
        I keep full transparency in my business, so I do not hide my WhoIs info. Just one more place to attest to the legitimacy of my online business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Whisonant
    Think about it. If you had a brick and morter store. Would you hide your address and contact information? If you did nobody could find you.

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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    I make my info private. There is no reason why others need to know who am i or where I stay...namecheap have it for free and I use it...
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  • Profile picture of the author BizBoost
    I believe if you've ever had your real info on your domains, it's still going to be archived somewhere in the WhoIs Archives. And they'll also have info on how many other domains you've had, etc, so I believe someone who wanted to find you badly enough could buy 1, or more, reports and that'd be that.

    That being said, I think it's most important to just not make it EASY for people to get your private info but don't obsess over making it impossible because those who really want it will probably get it. And, at GoDaddy, private reg costs like $9? So, you'd be doubling the price of your domains to go priv on all of them.

    My preference, which is not legal advice, but just one friendly marketer sharing his idea with another, is to open up an LLC and you can have that info public, just use a UPS box which you can make look like a suite/apt number, and create an email acct just for your domain registration info only.
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  • Profile picture of the author Suzanne Morrison
    I have a virtual office address that can forward mail and calls. I prefer to use this for privacy reasons, rather than my home address, especially as I have some local sites.

    Cheers,
    Suzanne
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  • Profile picture of the author PJ Harmsworth
    Yes, you can keep it public. Any genuine transparent person (i.e. Someone who pays tax, has a legal passport and is registered to vote etc.,) is already on many databases.

    However, it makes sense to use a 'business/mailing address' and a dedicated business telephone number (you can pick one up via Skype for a few dollars a month), when you register.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
    Originally Posted by honestbizpro View Post

    I like NameCheap because they offer privacy free of charge.
    The free of charge part is just for the first year unless they changed it lately. So if that's all anyone is doing, it's out in the open after that. Just that this has been mentioned at least 3 times in this thread without that little bit of info.
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  • Profile picture of the author Glenellis
    I had a bad experience a few years ago with a guy who showed up on my front doorstep at 1 a.m., angry about the opinion I expressed in a "letter to the editor" I submitted to my local paper. Since then, I have made all my contact information private, and used a UPS/Mailbox Etc. mail drop for my "home" address. You never know who is out there and what will set them off, so there is no reason to make it easy for them to find you in person.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adria.John
    Well, i keep the information on because this helps the webmasters to know how credibile my site is and they offer deals for link exchange.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gene Pimentel
    Domain privacy is like locking your front door. It only keeps the honest people out. It won't stop anybody who really wants to get in.
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  • Profile picture of the author wallstreeterwww
    I keep mine private. You could never make it hard enough for people to get your info these days.
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