Staying off the radar with domain privacy

Most of us aren’t superheroes with secret identities, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to protect our personal information. How much of your personal data is floating around online for anyone to find? Details like your name, address, email and phone number can potentially be exploited by unscrupulous parties for spamming and cold calling, or worse. Hackers, fraudsters and identity thieves have been known to rely on freely available contact info to carry out online abuse. One way your personal information might be accessible is via domain WHOIS listings – but there are still options for securing your registration details.

Do you want people to know WHO you IS?

When you register a domain name, you’re required to provide your personal or business information, like you would for any service purchased online. But the difference with a domain is that some of these details are automatically added to the WHOIS database, becoming publically available to anyone who takes the time to check. But what kind of people go trawling through thousands of pages of WHOIS results to dig up these scraps of data? Yes, you guessed it, THOSE people…

Contact information found via WHOIS can be used to target you with spam emails, telesales calls and even junk mail sent in the post. These are annoying at best and a drain on time and resources at worst, but there are also more serious threats including various forms of identity theft and fraud. WHOIS data can potentially be used to support social engineering, where an attacker will attempt to hijack a domain by impersonating the real registrant. If online harassment is a concern, a WHOIS search is another place abusers may look for background info. Depending on your circumstances, there are countless ways your details could be used against you.

What can you do to keep a low profile?

One major step to consider is domain privacy. This is a service that replaces the customer’s data with generic company information from the provider – effectively acting as a middleman between the registrant and the WHOIS results. By making the customer anonymous, domain privacy adds another layer of protection from unwanted attention. This means less time wasted on nuisance calls and junk mail, and more time spent on what matters. That’s not to mention the security benefits, and the peace of mind you get from knowing your details are under wraps, off the record and not roaming free across the internet.

Domain privacy is available from Fasthosts for all new and existing domain names with eligible extensions, and now for .co.uk, .uk, .org.uk and .me.uk. While previously .uk domain customers could only opt-out from displaying their address as an individual, all registrants (including businesses) now have the ability to completely mask their details. So if you’ve already registered a .uk domain with WHOIS Address Opt Out, this is a great opportunity to enhance your anonymity and security even further. To find out more, visit the Fasthosts website.

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