What is WHOIS Privacy?
When you register a domain name, you are asked to provide up-to-date contact information. This is part of a policy established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that coordinates the world’s domain system. Your information is then stored in a publicly accessible WHOIS database, which can be easily searched and accessed by anyone with an Internet connection. That means anyone can find your personal information, including spammers, marketers, and identity thieves.
A quick WHOIS lookup will provide your personal name and contact details. For example, a search for www.awesomelawncare.com might look something like this:
Creosote, Demetri, firstname.lastname@example.org Cowick Street Arctic Bay, NU X0A 0A0 CA +1.8675310123
Protecting your personal information
WHOIS Privacy allows you to keep your personal information from being published. When someone does a WHOIS lookup for a domain with WHOIS Privacy, the result that comes back looks something like this:
contactprivacy.com, email@example.com Mowat Ave Toronto, ON M6K 3M1 CA +1.4165385457
If they try to contact you by using that email address, the sender will receive an automated email back which includes a link to an online form to submit their request. Once they do this, then the message is sent to the domain owner. Doing it this way prevents people from spamming the Privacy Contact email address. Only a real person will be able to click the link in the email and fill out their request in the form online.
You can visit http://whois.tucows.com/ to do your own WHOIS lookup.
Note: WHOIS Privacy is available for more TLDs, but there are some exceptions. For instance, .CA and *.UK allow WHOIS Privacy for individuals, but not for companies. Some do not allow WHOIS Privacy at all, for example, .SEXY, .DE, .EU, and .US. And then there are others, such as .AT, that allow WHOIS Privacy only in very specific instances.
Enabling or disabling WHOIS Privacy
Hover automatically includes WHOIS Privacy with every domain we sell, so if you want WHOIS Privacy to be enabled on your domain, you don't need to do a thing.
If you want to disable WHOIS Privacy follow these steps:
- Sign in to your Hover account at https://www.hover.com/signin
- Beside the domain that you want to edit, click on the Privacy Icon
You will be asked to confirm that you want to remove WHOIS Privacy from the domain.
If you have only one domain name in your account, you will be taken directly to the Overview page. Click the green slider to change Whois Privacy to Off.