Several years ago, the day after acquiring a high value domain name in private, I received an email from someone within the industry congratulating me on my acquisition. I couldn’t figure out how he learned about the purchase, but later found out that he was monitoring the domain name, and when it transferred to my company, he was able to tell that I bought it.
By virtue of my blog, my business has become somewhat public. I’ve embraced this to a degree (although I despise it some days), and I don’t generally have issues sharing some recent acquisitions and purchases. By sharing, I think it might help readers to see what I believe is valuable, and it can also help to generate interest in some of my domain names.
Many people and companies prefer to keep their business dealings private for competitive or other reasons. I want to share a few tips on how you can keep your business private. Some of these suggestions might be obvious, but as I’ve learned, what is obvious to some is novel to others.
- Purchase privacy protection from the domain registrar. Prices vary depending on the registrar, but this can prevent people from seeing the actual owner’s information. Keep in mind, if you are doing this on a domain name you’ve owned for a while, there might be an archive of the Whois info from when it was public. You’ll want to buy privacy shield as you transfer or hand register a domain name if you care about privacy.
- Use a generic name like “Domain Admin” or “Domain Manager” on your registration. Other information can still be seen, but it might make it a bit less easy to search for the owner by name if a real person’s name isn’t listed.
- Use different email addresses for your Whois information. The critical aspect is that you absolutely need to ensure you control these email addresses. If you host your email on your domain name, you need to make sure the domain name is renewed annually. I believe some domain registrars let owners have a different Whois email address from the email address that receives billing and other notifications.