When thinking of building an online presence for your business, registering a domain name is the foremost step. A domain name uniquely positions your website in the internet arena.
Once you buy a domain name and register it with a domain registrar, you have successfully completed a critical step in building your online presence. Now, you can build your website and start connecting with your new and existing customers.
But, wait! Apart from your customers, are you also dealing with some unwanted guests coming through spam calls and messages?
Why am I getting spam calls and messages after I registered a domain name?
There have been cases when after registering a domain, the registrant is flooded with spam calls and messages consisting of offers and deals for various services. This is similar to what one experiences as soon as he takes any kind of loan services.
Obviously, this spamming causes a lot of trouble for the recipients. It’s not only a loss of privacy but can reduce the productivity of a business or an individual.
So, who exactly is responsible for this nuisance? Your domain registrar? A big NO if you are taking services of a reputed domain name services provider like Motherhost.
There are a lot of things involved in the process of registering a domain name.
So, let us guide you through what is happening and why exactly is it happening.
When you register a domain name, your personal and technical details are collected and stored in a public library called WHOIS (an acronym for who is).
What is WHOIS?
The WHOIS service lets the visitors search for a domain name and see the personal information associated with the registered user of that particular domain name. WHOIS lookup helps in the smooth operation of the Domain Name System (DNS) and is a legitimate way of checking whether a particular domain is available for registration or not.
But, as every coin has two sides, similarly, the WHOIS functionality also has some pros and cons.
The service was launched with the sole purpose of helping people know about a domain name to ensure that the domain is being used for legitimate purpose only. But, there are some people or hackers who misuse the publicly available information in the WHOIS library and sell it for commercial gains.
Thus, the data which is entered into WHOIS library at the time of registering a domain name is publicly available and can be misused by spammers and hackers.
It is very important to understand here that having your information in the WHOIS library is not bad, in fact, it’s a good thing. This way, the domain owners can be made accountable for their website and any misuse or nefarious activities can be identified. Even your customers can cross-check your information or your authenticity through the WHOIS search.
But, the misusers of this good technology are using this as a means of spamming and identity thefts. There are other services as well that watch for any new domain registrations and then lists them, from where they are collectively picked up by the spammers and hackers.
So, while WHOIS can protect your information, there might be cases of annoying spams too. But, there are ways to stop them completely.
How can I stop spam calls and messages after I register a domain name?
This can be done by the ways discussed below:
- Opt-out of WHOIS
One of the ways could be to opt-out of WHOIS. Individual users and non-commercial .uk domain name registrants are automatically opted out of WHOIS. But, this is not a universal solution. This can be largely used by individuals and non-commercial users only. Also, there can be chances that even after opting out of WHOIS, your information will still be available at other sites without you being aware of it.
- Go for Domain Privacy
Domain Privacy also called WHOIS privacy is one of the most recommended ways to protect your personal information available in the WHOIS directory.
Every reputed domain hosting provider offers domain privacy add-on. On signing up with domain privacy, your domain information including personal as well technical (billing) is masked with some generic information. Take the following as an example:
Information Without Domain Privacy on:
Domain Name: motherhost.in
Registrant Contact: Mothersoft Technologies.
Administrative Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number: +91-9884824733
Information with Domain Privacy enabled:
Domain Name: domainprivacy(dot)com
Registrant Contact: customerprivacy.inc
Administrative Contact: email@example.com
Phone Number: +91xxxxx733
You will still have all the control on the information but the information will be hidden from the general public. Any requests to view your information will be passed on to you by your domain registrar and you will have the option to either reply or ignore the request.
Thus, domain privacy comes with many advantages like: protection of your personal data, no unwanted calls, protection of your email address, and prevention from domain hijacking.
The cost that you pay for a domain privacy add on is nothing when compared to the immense benefits you reap from the privacy feature.
- Reconsider your email privacy settings
One of the caution steps would be to recheck your email privacy settings. Outlook users can simply go into their junk folder and check junk email settings. They can choose to permanently label an email address as junk. However, it is advisable to check your junk emails regularly to avoid missing on some important mails which accidentally may land in the junk.
A word of precaution
Spammers and hackers are always on the look-out for targeting vulnerable websites and loopholes in security.
But, you should never ever use incorrect information while registering a domain!
If you think that you can register through a throwaway email address, then also you need to think twice. In case of any discrepancy, your domain can get locked and seized by the authorities.
Always use your factual information when you go to register a domain name and use the domain privacy option to avoid being spammed. Follow your hosting provider’s rules and policies to protect your domain and immediately inform your hosting provider when you suspect any malware, spam or other malicious activities.