About the display of private information publicly via whois.
My first site, registered via a UK hosting company, displayed my name and address on whois which I was not especially pleased about. However I have opened a new domain through a US web hoster and not only is my address there but they have plastered my email address and telephone number for all to see.
Privacy is a pay for option which I did not take as I did not realise that the other items would be there too.
What do others do about this? I bought the domain for a personal website but you can imagine that if you put anything slightly controversial on the site - and I have items about falconry - then it lays you open to some deranged person with a dislike of falconers or whatever finding you very easily.
If you registered as a private individual you can hide your details, if you registered as a business you have to pay for that option to hide.
Depends on the suffix..
Thanks a lot. I will follow this up. I have started as a web developer so, foolishly, may have put that down but the site is personal - for the family.
I also found a web link on ICANN Procedure For Handling WHOIS Conflicts with Privacy Law but there are a lot of words for no apparent content.
the suffix is .biz
Normally privacy is an option on ( usually paid extra ).biz ..the reason being that .biz was set up for the use of businesses and not for the use of private individuals ..the clue is in the "biz" part of .biz :)
If you have only recently set up the domain ( you have reasonable chance of opening a "privacy" account with the registrar..especially as apparently they offered it during your purchase but you apparently declined to pay the extra ) ..the independent whois data bases mainly "refresh" on a 24 or 48 hour basis, thus if you add privacy now..by Sunday or Monday at the latest , you should find that your details are no longer public..
This may even come into being before then..some whois sites "refresh" every 6 or 12 hours..
Remember to make all 4 "contacts" fields private..owner, admin, tech and billing..
I have now gone through the registration agreement and followed the link to ICANN where it sets out what is expected for the whois information. I assume this applies worldwide?
I could not find any distinction between private individuals and commercial ones.
And this is the bit that requires the extra info (tel and email).
they must put on whois
The name, postal address, e-mail address, voice telephone number, and (where available) fax number of the technical contact and administrative contact for the Registered Name.
I agree that you can have your info taken off but that means your domain belongs to another organisation who loans it back to you - or that was my understanding. Seems to make a mockery of the whole thing really.
What I should have done is provided some other email address and tel number to use and not my personal ones.
Hopefully this will help someone else.
.biz was for businesses, .me was for individuals..
.co.uk domains have no "privacy" option at all, registrars cannot even propose it..
If you are a business you should have either an office address and phone number, email address etc other than your personal ones..( those can all be rented ) or have a PO Box, and be capable of giving out a non personal email..and having a dedicated mobile phone just for your domain contacts..
That is part of being professional..and biznesslike[sic]..the "exposure" of your "private" information would have been being signaled to you all along the steps in your registration of your domain..from your first post it seems that it was , but that you didn't read it..
Some companies charge extra to "hide it" for you ..some build it into their basic costs..no matter what the offers may say..no registrar actually gives it for free..those who say that they do..actually register the domains in their own names..just like the others do..
Btw..if you "make up" an email address that wont actually resolve..and add a telephone number that doesn't have a messaging service and use them ..you run the risk that ICANN or whoever is the registry for your particular TLD..can take it from you, for "inaccurate information"..they check about once per year..and another person who wants your domain, or who wishes you ill , can report you to them, and start that ball rolling..so make sure that it is all valid..
Might never happen...but you wouldn't want to invest all the time and effort into a domain, and have it taken, just for "inaccurate information" ..
You can change the info that is showing..simple as logging into your domain name control panel at your registrar. .just make sure it is valid ( even if alternative ) as described above..or buy "privacy"..
In my defence I did check regarding privacy but I looked at whois for my old personal site which did not show tel number and email. But you are right I did not read the terms and conditions and drill down to the 2 more agreements to discover that these would also be shown. Not till now anyway.
Also my advice to others would be not to "make up" information but just to have contact information which protects the private self.
Thank you for the advice though - It is all a learning experience and I have complained to ICANN re their policy. I just feel that if you want access to that sort of information for anything or anyone then you should identify yourself first.
I will now need to think about this personal site of mine - what do I do about it.