When you buy a domain, you’re often given the option to purchase an additional domain privacy service. For some, ID protection is worth the freedom from spam, while others choose to keep their information public for reputational purposes. Here on NameHero, you can buy it by clicking the “ID Protection” box as shown here:
So is ID protection worth it?
What ID Protection Does
A domain name is an address for your digital real estate. You have an address, just like in the real world. And if you purchase web hosting linked to that domain, it’s like attaching land to your address. The agency that keeps track of who owns what is ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. This organization ensures that two people don’t purchase the same domain name, and sets the rules for managing what would otherwise be the equivalent of the wild west.
ICANN mandates that every domain name needs to have public records associated with its domain information so that people can get in touch with a website’s owner. This is important for legal reasons. For example, suppose you allow users to post content on your platform, and they upload copyrighted material. The owner of the copyright should have the ability to send you a takedown notice. And to do that, they need your contact details.
For this reason, and many others, every website address needs to be publicly associated with both a physical address, as well as a public e-mail ID.
Why Public Information Can be Problematic
Unfortunately, public e-mails and addresses will be abused by spammers. With e-mails, at least you can filter out the spam using software. But a physical address can be spammed as well. Imagine receiving tons of junk mail that you have to manually sort through every day. A business might be able to handle this kind of influx, but many websites are owned by individuals who are just trying to run a normal website. I’m one of these individuals, and I don’t want my home address to be flooded with junk mail!
ID Protection Stands Between You and the World
With NameHero’s ID protection service, you show masked information to the world and ICANN. So your real e-mail ID isn’t exposed, and neither is your physical address. Here’s an example of how it works before and after you apply the protection:
This doesn’t mean that you’re lying to ICANN, or that people can’t reach you. It means that the ID protection service intercepts all communication sent to the ICANN-mandated public address and filters out the spam – both physical and virtual.
This way, real people will be able to reach you and spammers will be filtered out. For individuals, this can be invaluable.
Why Would you NOT Choose IP Protection?
Well, it’s a paid service to start with. Granted, it’s just a few bucks a year (not a month), but if your website doesn’t generate any revenue, and you’re just maintaining it as a hobby, then can be a factor in your calculations.
However, a more important reason is that you don’t want to hide your business information from the world. For trust reasons, if someone views your domain information on ICANN, you might want them to see not just your organization’s name, but also an authentic e-mail ID with your domain name and the physical address of your headquarters. It promotes transparency and trust, and is more of a concern if you want to maintain the impression of a “big brand”.
Of course, if you already have the infrastructure and expertise to deal with the resulting spam – both physical and virtual – then there’s no reason to apply for ID protection with NameHero. But for smaller individuals, it’s a much better value proposition for the resulting peace of mind for just a few dollars a year!
I’m a NameHero team member, and an expert on WordPress and web hosting. I’ve been in this industry since 2008. I’ve also developed apps on Android and have written extensive tutorials on managing Linux servers. You can contact me on my website WP-Tweaks.com!