Finally: your domain is registered and you are ready to give your website the green light. But your domain is barely up and running and already your inbox is being clogged with spam. You may even start to receive letters in your real-life mailbox or receive calls from unknown persons to the phone number provided when you registered the domain. How has this happened?

Here is something that many domain owners are not aware of: the full contact details of every domain owner are publicly accessible. Some domain endings even result in phone numbers being published online. Why is this? Domain name administrators are obliged by law to operate a publicly accessible database containing information about the domain owners that they have on their books. And this is why anybody can find out the owner of a domain simply by running a quick search in a Whois database.

Do you have sensitive data to protect?
Many domain owners prevent public access to their name, postal address and in many cases even their phone number and email address. Depending on what the domain is intended to be used for, the publication of the domain owner’s contact details online may foster trust among visitors to the domain. However, there are perfectly good reasons why someone may not want to have their personal contact data published in a publicly accessible online registry.

Hostpoint Domain Privacy

Your personal data is protected with Domain Privacy
Domain Privacy enables you to protect your personal data from being accessed by unknown persons. Two versions are available: Domain Full Privacy and Domain Privacy. The address of a proxy service (i.e. a neutral party) is displayed in place of the address of the domain owner. The contact details are either hidden completely (“Full Privacy”), or restricted to the first and last name of the domain owner (“Privacy”). Thanks to Domain Full Privacy and Domain Privacy, the owner is free to decide whether they want to display their name for more transparency or enjoy total anonymity.

Regardless of the version decided on, the use of a proxy service to conceal personal data changes nothing from a legal point of view: the domain holder continues to be the legal owner of the domain with all the accompanying rights and obligations. Correspondence sent to the e-mail address of the neutral proxy is forwarded immediately and automatically.

Will this work with my domain?
Domain Privacy and Domain Full Privacy are currently available for domain names registered at Hostpoint with the extensions .com, .net, .org, .biz and .info as well as virtually all themed domain names (newgTLD). Further domain extensions will be added in due course. Things are somewhat more complex for the majority of country-specific domain extensions such as .ch or .de. The current legal situation unfortunately prohibits a proxy service from being displayed on behalf of the domain owner.

Protect your personal data with domain privacy

Thomas Brühwiler

Thomas Brühwiler is Hostpoint's Head of Communication and also responsible for all activities in the social media field. He was already typing on a Commodore 64 in his very young years – he used to copy pages of BASIC code from magazines. Often he had to accept that the program didn’t run because an error had sneaked into the jumble of characters. Today he cannot imagine his life without computers, in spite of those experiences.