What is Privacy Protection and Why Would I Want It?

The short answer: Privacy protection, or proxy, services allow your contact information to be redacted from public records. This will likely reduce the volume of spam email phone calls you receive

The details: When you register a domain name, you are required to provide valid contact information that includes your name, phone number, email address, and postal address. This is required so you can be contacted regarding domain name expiration (so you don’t lose your domain name), in the case of domain name abuse, and for law enforcement, to name a few reasons. There are 4 contacts associated with each domain name: 

Registrant: The Registrant contact is considered to be the owner of, and highest authority for, the domain name. This contact does not necessarily need to be an actual person, it can be a company or organization. If, however, a company or organization is listed as the owner the full legal name needs to be listed.

Administrative: This contact serves as the administrative point of contact for the domain name. This contact will receive notifications including domain name expiration, contact verification, and transfer approvals. 

Technical: The tech contact is responsible for maintaining and updating the DNS nameservers for the domain names.

Billing: This contact is responsible for payment of domain name renewals. 

Although this framework provides the flexibility to separate specific responsibilities, in most cases the details for each of the four contacts are identical. The contact information defaults to the information provided when the account is created but can be updated at any time. If the information is updated after a name is registered, the change must be approved using the current contact information. This is strictly enforced to avoid unauthorized transfer of a domain name.

Is This Information Public?

Some of the contact information associated with a domain name registration may be made publicly available in the Registration Data Directory Service (also commonly known as the WHOIS database or the Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP)). Publication of registration contact information allows third parties to contact the registrant about their domain name or its website information, as well as for public safety reasons. The best way to view publicly available contact information is to use an app such as Console or Terminal and type “whois <domain name>” at the prompt (e.g., “whois dominion.domains”).  

Can I Redact My Information from Public View?

When you register a domain name with Dominion Domains (and most other registrars), you have the option to mask most of the contact information using a privacy service. Once this service is selected, contact information for Dominion Domains will replace the registrant’s contact information.