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I bought a domain name and you sold my details

When you buy a domain name, you may be faced with a large amount of unsolicited emails and spam. To anyone experiencing the pressure of new domain spam, I feel your pain! I’ve been there several times myself and it isn’t pleasant. As a business 34SP.com supply domain names, so to us it’s a well known issue. We receive all types of support enquiries about spamming: Some clients get bombarded with unsolicited calls as well as emails which means understandably means we get complaints and accusations of wrongdoing. I imagine every domain registrar out there has similar tales to tell.

Buying a new domain name and starting a new venture is a positive experience regardless. We’re here to support you on that journey.

 

Did you sell my details?

We don’t sell your information to third parties and we never will, it’s there proudly in our Terms and Conditions. We do not divulge any personal information unless we have to; we’re an ethical web hosting business. Unfortunately, registering a domain name is one of those ‘have to‘ scenarios: When registering a domain name it’s compulsory to supply your information, much like registering a business or a trademark. Just like registering for a trademark some of that information will be publicly accessible, unless you opt your information out when you sign up.

 

What the public can see (whois lookup)

Before you go ahead and purchase Whois Opt Out, have you searched for your own domain name’s whois data yet? You too can see what the public sees by visiting this page on our site:

https://www.34sp.com/whois

Here’s what you see if you pop our main domain name 34SP.com into the whois search:

a screenshot of the whois lookup 34SP.com

As you can see that’s a lot of publicly accessible information, including the registrant’s full name, address, telephone number and email address. It is all kept and processed in the whois database, an online public database through ICANN; A non profit Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. It is possible for potential offerings to reach you from outside parties as this is public information, the most common being third parties offering to design your website or offer you related services. We do stress that we don’t have anything to do with this and see it all too often. That said, there are steps you can take to lessen the problem.

 

Masking your details (Whois Opt Out)

In order to register a domain name you must give your correct details, or you risk losing ownership. In 2014 ICANN cracked down on the registration of fraudulent domain names, contacting owners to provide further confirmation of valid registration details. We still see this query often, when owners have registered with incorrect or older contact details in the past and are struggling to retrieve ownership of their domain name. It’s important to give valid contact information and it’s compulsory to have that information stored in the whois database.

Silver linings: You can’t remove that information but you CAN mask it from being publicly accessible. If you purchase Whois Opt Out this is what the public would see:

whois lookup with opt out applied

It’s important to note that not all Whois Opt Outs look like this. This is what it looks like if you have your domain name registered with us and opt out enabled. When someone performs a whois lookup on your domain name they will find generic details in place of your own registration details, in our clients’ case they will find our own details instead as above. Whois Opt Out is a separate purchase to your domain name and it’s available on signup:

screenshot of whois opt out on the basket page of our website

As you can see when you after you’ve through the options to purchase a domain name through our website and agreed to the terms and conditions you’ll be presented with your basket. Click on the option to add Whois Opt Out to your purchase: It’s as simple as that. Alternatively you can apply Whois Opt Out to an existing domain name. Whois Opt Out is available for domain names registered to individuals on international domain names such as .com. If you have a .uk domain name then you’ll notice your whois lookup will look a little different to the above. For example:

.uk whois lookup outputYou’ll see that there’s much less information shown; your details apart from name are omitted from the whois lookup. If you are registering a domain name as a business, .uk Whois Opt Out is not available. To find out what options you have get in touch with our support team and we will be happy to help.

Be sure to talk to us about more options within our control panel, you can customise nameservers and add web hosting to your domain just a few steps before that. Thank you for registering your domain name with us, happy website building!

-Siobhan @SiobhanLHancock

 

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