One of the biggest issues plaguing domain owners is email spam, text message spam, and unsolicited phone calls offering “deals” on everything from web development services to graphic design services. I can’t even tell you how many phone numbers I have blocked from text messages and phone calls in the last couple of years.
As someone involved in the business of domain names, I understand that my domain registrar has nothing to do with these companies offering their services. If you spend some time doing Google searches related to these spam messages, many domain registrants seem to believe their registrar supports this messaging or is a partner of some sort with these third party companies.
I am sure a company like GoDaddy receives a ton of complaints from angry customers of theirs who are angry about the amount of spam they receive after registering or transferring a domain name. I also would think customers who use these third party services and are unhappy complain to their registrar as if they have some responsibility for the poor service. GoDaddy customers seem to be the biggest target, likely because of the size of the company and the number of domain names under management there.
This morning, GoDaddy announced some changes to help protect its customers from spam. The email I received is below and it outlines the company’s plan for Whois masking, which is set to go into effect on January 25, 2018:
We’re making improvements to protect you from spam.
WHOIS masking starts January 25.
This service will block some of your contact details through automated access points.
We’re always looking for ways to protect your information online. To help slow the flood of spam that can occur when you register a domain without privacy services, WHOIS masking of certain personal data will be turned on for all domains on January 25.
This service will limit a potential spammer’s ability to access your first name, last name, email and phone number through automated means (also known as Port 43 access). We’ll continue to publish full WHOIS details to users of our CAPTCHA-protected, web-based WHOIS system, as required.
Here’s how to opt out:
If you still want your information to be available via automated sources of public WHOIS data, you can opt out anytime using one of these options:
Call us at (480) 505-8877.
Send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may ask for additional information for verification purposes.
Domain Privacy still matters.
While we hope this service will help cut down on spam calls and emails, because registration information is still made available publicly, Domain Privacy is still the best way to maintain anonymity online. WHOIS masking will only restrict spammers through automated bulk access sources.
To learn more, check out this help article.