How to Keep a Domain Registration Private

Whois privacy is often cited in a negative manner, but there are many valid reasons for people wanting to keep a domain name registration private. I keep some of my domain names privately registered as a means of cutting down on spam, preventing others from seeing domain names my company owns, and preventing others from knowing what domain names I am buying and selling.

Whois privacy is offered at most domain name registrars. Private domain registrations are  generally inexpensive. Some registrars such as Uniregistry offer free privacy on domain names.

I want to share a few ways domain investors can keep their domain name registrations private. Keep in mind it would be very easy for an attorney to get a court order to reveal private Whois information for legal reasons. Also, keep in mind that I am not a privacy expert, so my privacy needs aren’t critically important to my business, and the suggestions below aren’t going to guarantee privacy. For that, an attorney should almost certainly be consulted.

  • When registering a domain name, be sure to pay for privacy protection (or select the free privacy guard) at the time of purchase. Even if the domain name is registered publicly for a day, the Whois information could become public.
  • When buying a domain name in the aftermarket, ask the seller to add privacy before the account push or domain registrar transfer to reduce the chance of the new Whois becoming public.
  • After buying a domain name in the aftermarket, confirm that privacy is enabled inside the control panel.
  • Do not confirm privacy is enabled by doing a Whois search. If privacy is not enabled, the Whois lookup service may archive the Whois record.
  • Have the domain name registered in the name of an attorney or a trusted third party that doesn’t mind having their information in the Whois record.
  • Do not use Google Adsense or Google Analytics accounts that are connected with other publicly registered domain names as people can search via the publisher ID to see accounts that use the same ID.
  • Don’t list the domain name for sale on a domain forum with a nickname that can be tracked back to the owner.
  • Don’t mention the domain name in social media or in the comment sections of blog posts.
  • Ask other parties to sign non-disclosure agreements before selling a domain name or even negotiating to sell a domain name.
  • When responding to emails sent to the privacy Whois address, do not respond from a regular email account that can be connected to you.
Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

    *** REMINDER ***

    Please remember that the first international DPS, Domain Parking Strike, called “Enjoy the CPC EXPLOSION inside google!!!” is in progress!!!

    It will last at least until April 15th, 2015.

    Did you changed the nameservers of your domains? Manage to do it please.

    If you want, you can manage also to offer leasing/renting options on your landing pages (of course do no ask for that to parking platforms, you know it will be only a waste of time…).


  2. Little known fact, as soon as a UDRP is filed against a domain owner, the privacy veil is immediately lifted at GoDaddy Proxy Services – without notice, or opportunity to object.

    Suspect same process at other registrar providing privacy services too.

    A situation I encountered last year.

    Though I prevailed in the UDRP proceeding my identity was immediately available in whois within hours of the filing of the UDRP action.

    GD Proxy services cited ICANN rules as basis for its actions.

  3. “Have the domain name registered in the name of an attorney or a trusted third party that doesn’t mind having their information in the Whois record.”

    Some people can chew razor blades without getting cut.
    Others lose their tongue…

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