The WHOIS Database and the Benefits of Keeping Information Private

WHOIS Database and Security

The WHOIS database collects a lot of information about you. If you register a new domain, the WHOIS database will store your name, organization, email, physical address, and so on. The database is also publicly accessible and will include information on the server your domain is being hosted on. The WHOIS database can be used to identify the owners of domains as well as their location. This public information can be utilized for security purposes.

This public data is important especially as it relates to spam, malware, ransomware, malicious traffic, insider threats, Advanced Persistent Threats, and Botnet. ICANN is used for accreditation. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers largely regulates the maintenance and mediates potential issues.

The database works both ways. The same way in which you can find out information about who owns a domain can be used by everyone. There are a number of important reasons as to why you’d want to keep your public data limited.

For example:

Spam

This is often a point of discussion when it comes to the database. Marketing companies can use the database to collect information on you and spam your email accounts. However, anti-spam software actually uses the same WHOIS data to fight spam. Concealing your contact information is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

Control

If you’re someone that wants to only have your business contact information available, then the WHOIS is a good way of having customers contact you directly. You don’t have to give out any private information. People can also connect your social media account information with your WHOIS data. For some public figures, or just if you’re someone with a serious concern for privacy, this can be particularly worrisome. Limit the data you have available if you are afraid of someone “connecting the dots”.

Identity Theft

By protecting your WHOIS data, you can minimize the chances of getting your identity stolen. Many hackers work through WHOIS data to collect potentially harmful or personal data.

Location Security

Unfortunately, WHOIS collects data on your actual location. But, you can fix this. By hiding your physical location, you can protect your home address from prying eyes.

Scraping Protection

Your email can be scraped and then placed on a number of spam lists that spammers will then use to elicit more information from you. They may pretend to be someone you know, your Registrar, and they can even send you “invoices” claiming to need updated payment information.

SEO/Google

If you’re someone that values Search Engine Optimization (SEO), then having WHOIS data is more to your benefit. Google uses your WHOIS data to cross-reference between social media accounts to establish a unified identity for you. This aids the SEO for your website. Although if you’re someone that isn’t too concerned with SEO, then limiting your WHOIS can improve your network security.

Privacy Services

If your business requires solid network security, but you don’t have the time to handle it yourself. Why not consider a privacy service? A privacy service can serve to protect from spam and vicious malware.

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