Yesterday afternoon, I received an email from the founder of a small domain company I’ve never heard of with a seemingly great offer – a free account at the newly established company. This domain company has what seems to be a number of interesting offerings, some of which sound like they could be useful. I am going to turn it down.
It’s hard enough to maintain any privacy when blogging, but I don’t want to give away private information about my Whois searches, drop search habits…etc. The company was started by someone I don’t know nor have heard of, and it’s a service I’ve never heard of before.
I wrote about this a while back, but think it’s important enough to reiterate. Although a free account at a website with an interesting service may sound appealing, remember that the company may either be observing your individual habits or may be looking to sell data for all users.
I still remember when someone who will remain nameless (from a large company) emailed me a couple of years ago to ask me if I intentionally let a domain name drop. The name was below average, so I knew he was watching my portfolio rather than the specific name. It made me realize that there are plenty of companies who are happy to provide tools for domain investors, and I am sure that some of them are using the data, both on a personal level and aggregated, for their own enrichment.