Many people own a domain name these days. Companies like GoDaddy have made it easy for people to purchase a .COM and get your own personal web page setup. What they do not do a good job of is explaining to you how important it is for you to privatize your domain registration.
When you register a domain your registrar, like GoDaddy, asks you a bunch of personal information. Basic information that almost every other website has asked you for like: your name, address, phone number, and email address. This may seem harmless at first because you have to pay for your domain and you want the registrar to be able to contact you in case there are issues. However, unless you specifically tell your registrar to privatize your information, which often costs extra, all of your information will be public to the rest of the world.
Without a private registration you may get unwanted solicitation in the form of email, phone calls and sometimes even paper mail. The longer your domain stays public the more unsolicited information you will get. Solicitors can easily look up your information through a WHOIS search. ICANN.org provides a service here: whois.icann.org for those wanting to lookup information about a domain name. If you are a Linux user you can even install the “whois” command to do these searches from a terminal. We have left 45Squared.com’s registration public to show off what information you can receive from doing a WHOIS search so go ahead and try it out! Once you see all the information do the same query on your own domain and see what information you are broadcasting to the world.
So what should you do? First you should contact your registrar about having a private registration. If your registrar is unwilling or costs too much for a private registration you should begin looking for a new registrar. At 45Squared we believe that all your personal information should be locked up and kept away from prying eyes.