How does WHOIS Privacy work?

So, you've just registered a new domain for your branded links! That's great, but there are a few things you should know about WHOIS privacy to make sure you fully understand what happens in the background every time a new domain is registered. 

What is WHOIS information, and why should it matter to me? 

Whenever a new domain is registered, the domain registration authority ICANN requires that the domain owner (also known as registrant's) data is added to a public WHOIS database associated with the domain they have purchased. 

This is a standard policy for all domain registrations, and it doesn't mean that your data has been sold to a third party. In fact, WHOIS databases keep domain owners accountable for their behaviour online. If someone is using a domain for less than respectable reasons, there is a comprehensive record of who is responsible for it. 

👎  Risks involved with your data being publically available: 

When your data is public in the WHOIS database, the information (including contact details) must be made available to anyone who requests it. While there are measures in place to protect your data, spammers and identity thieves can gain access to your contact details. There are even companies out there that scrape information out of the WHOIS database and sell it on to other parties- resulting in pretty frustrating spam phone calls and emails to some domain owners. 

👍  Are there any benefits to a WHOIS database?

Yes, there absolutely are! There are services out there that rank domain names, attributing more credibility to domains where the registrant's details are publically available. Depending on how important building credibility and trust is to your brand or business, you may want to consider leaving your personal details public in the WHOIS database. 

What's more, the WHOIS database can be used for legitimate purposes. You can refer to the database to get valuable contact information for relevant businesses and individual domain owners. 

Using the WHOIS database to confirm privacy

All domains purchased through Rebrandly from November 2017 onwards will have WHOIS privacy included automatically. To check and make sure your personal details are private, the WHOIS search services online and enter your custom domain name. You should see that the details are replaced with "Contact Privacy Inc.", thus ensuring your details remain private.  

*Note- It's still possible to contact domain owners via email, this feature simply hides the detail from the general public. In order to contact the domain owner, users must fill out a form on that has a captcha form to block spammers. 

How does whois privacy work for branded domains?

WHOIS privacy for Rebrandly branded domains: 

At Rebrandly, we consider the privacy of our users to be of the utmost importance. We don't want our users to encounter any unnecessary risks online, and in order to guarantee your privacy, we're offering free WHOIS privacy for all domains registered through us. At no additional cost to our customers,  we'll replace your personal information with our own contact details, ensuring your data does not become public.

Bear in mind, you will still be the legal owner of the domain name you've purchased. We're just hiding your information in the public WHOIS database. 

How do I add WHOIS privacy to my domain?

From November 22th, 2017, all eligible domains registered through Rebrandly will have WHOIS privacy enabled by default. If you would like your details to be public you can change this setting at any time. Check out the process here. For domains registered through Rebrandly prior to November 20th, you'll need to visit your domain dashboard, select your domain and tick "enable privacy." It's really that simple! 

I purchased my domain from another provider, how do I enable privacy?

We can only enable WHOIS privacy on domains registered through Rebrandly. If you purchased your name from another provider, you will need to seek out WHOIS privacy from them directly. 

Alternatively, you can request that your domain be fully transferred to us and then enable privacy through your dashboard. 

Some TLDs are ineligible: 

Because each individual domain registry has different WHOIS requirements, we can only enable WHOIS privacy for certain eligible top-level domains (TLDs). Please see below a list of most of the ineligible TLDs- many of which are country code TLDs (ccTLDs). 

  • .ac
  • .am
  • .asia
  • .at
  • .be
  • .ca
  • .ch
  • .cz
  • .de
  • .eu
  • .es
  • .film
  • .fm
  • .fr
  • .gs
  • .gy
  • .im
  • .in
  • .it
  • .io
  • .jobs
  • .jp
  • .li
  • .mn
  • .mx
  • .ngo/.ong
  • .nl
  • .nyc
  • .pl
  • .pm
  • .pro
  • .re
  • .rich
  • .ru
  • .se
  • .sh
  • .so
  • .tf
  • .tl
  • .top
  • .travel
  • .us
  • .vc
  • .vote
  • .wf
  • .ws
  • .yt


This article is about:

  • How does whois privacy works
  • Domain registration top-level domains that do not offer privacy
  • privacy and URL shorteners
  • WHOIS Privacy 
  • TLDs with no whois privacy
  • Spam after registering a domain name

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