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WHOIS Information & Domain Privacy


Domain name registrations are considered similar to registering a company because you are required to provide valid and accurate contact information about the domain's owner. You can choose to make information about the owner public or private; however, you must provide accurate, publicly visible contact information. The publicly visible WHOIS directory lists all domain registrations and contact information.

This article will discuss the following topics:

What is WHOIS?

WHOIS is a widely used directory that houses all domain names and their information, including domain registration and expiration dates, domain owners (registrants), and name servers. The WHOIS records may also publicly show the registrant's technical and administrative contact details unless you make it private by using Domain Privacy + Protection.

Validate your WHOIS Information

According to ICANN regulations, valid and accurate contact information must be submitted whenever a domain is registered. This is to make sure you are your domain owner and the only one with full control over your domain. You must keep your WHOIS contact information up-to-date to receive important notices about your domain, such as expiration reminders. It also determines who legally and contractually has control over the domain.

It is important to note that you have to verify your WHOIS information via email after the domain purchase and when changes are made to the registrant's contact information. If no validation is done within 15 days, the domain name will be suspended. In cases of domain transfer, if no validation is done, the transfer will be interrupted.

Here are some helpful guides about domain validation.

  • Domain Order Validation -This is a great read for new HostGator domain registration.
  • Domain Transfer Validation - Transferring domain names to another register also requires validation. Please visit this article if you are transferring your domain TO and AWAY from HostGator.
  • WHOIS Update Validation - If you want to update your domain contact details, please visit this article.
Pro Tip! We recommend you use an email address different from the domain you are using to register since you need immediate access to this email address to validate your WHOIS information.

GDPR Domain Masking

While European customers' contact information will be masked publicly by default because of GDPR, this means that you will not know right away when someone is looking to contact the domain in question. Keeping Domain Privacy on your domain will allow any inquiries to be forwarded to you.

Domain Privacy adds a layer of protection on top for those that are protected through GDPR law. Further details regarding this service can be found in our Domain Registration Agreement.


What is Domain Privacy + Protection?

Domain Privacy + Protection is a comprehensive service that helps protect your identity, domain name, and website against security threats, such as identity theft, malware, blacklisting, and unauthorized access. It includes the following features:

  • Domain Privacy - Domain Privacy, also known as WHOIS privacy, domain private registration, or private registration, protects your personal information by masking it from the public WHOIS database. This means that your name, address, phone number, and email address will not be publicly visible. By preventing your information from being exposed and sold on lists, you can reduce the risk of spam, identity theft, and unwanted solicitations.
  • Daily Malware Scanning - Our advanced security scan regularly checks your website for viruses, malware, and other malicious code. If any threat is detected, you will be promptly alerted so you can take immediate action to remove it.
  • Blacklist Monitoring - This service monitors your website's IP address for blacklisting on any search engine or security blacklist. If your IP address is blacklisted, it means that it has been associated with malicious activity. You will be notified if your IP address is blacklisted so that you can take action to remove it.
  • SMS Domain Alerts - With real-time SMS notifications about critical domain events, you stay informed about any suspicious activities, unauthorized domain changes, or potential security threats.


How to Manage Domain Privacy + Protection

Within your Customer Portal, you can enable and disable the "Protection" feature of the Domain Privacy + Protection addon. Please note that even if you disable the Protection feature, your domain contact information is still kept private. However, the additional security features, such as SMS alerts, blacklist monitoring and security scans, will be disabled.

For more information on managing your domain's Domain Privacy + Protection, please check out the following article.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I have Domain Privacy + Protection for all my domains?

Domain Privacy + Protection is available for most top-level domains (gTLDs). However, some country-code extensions (ccTLDs) or regulated extensions are not supported.  

.abogado, .ac, .ae, .aero, .af, .africa, .ag, .ai, .alsace, .am, .ar, .archi, .as, .asia, .at, .au, .auto, .barcelona, .bayern, .be, .berlin, .br, .brussels, .bzh, .ca, .cd, .ch, .cl, .cm, .cn, .co.uk, .cologne, .com.cn, .com.es, .com.ro, .coop, .corsica, .cx, .cz, .de, .dk, .ec, .es, .eu, .feedback, .fi, .fm, .fr, .frl, .gd, .gg, .gl, .gr, .gs, .gy, .hamburg, .hk, .hm, .hn, .hr, .ht, .hu, .ie, .il, .im, .in, .io, .is, .je, .jobs, .jp, .kg, .ki, .kr, .la, .law, .lc, .li, .lt, .lu, .lv, .ly, .ma, .md, .me.uk, .melbourne, .mn, .ms, .mu, .mx, .my, .net.cn, .nl, .no, .nrw, .nu, .nyc, .org.cn, .org.uk, .paris, .pe, .ph, .pl, .pm, .pr, .pro, .pt, .pw, .qa, .quebec, .re, .rio, .ro, .ru, .ruhr, .sb, .sc, .scot, .se, .sg, .sh, .si, .so, .sport, .sr, .srl, .st, .sx, .sydney, .tc, .tf, .tk, .tl, .tm, .to, .travel, .tw, .ua, .uk, .us, .uy, .vc, .ve, .vg, .vlaanderen, .vote, .voto, .wf, .wien, .yt, .za


Why am I unable to add the Domain Privacy + Protection to my domain?

It is important to note that these domains are still protected by our Domain Privacy, so your WHOIS information is still kept private from the public eye. The new protection features will be forthcoming.


I disabled SMS Alerts and/or SiteLock Lite within my Customer Portal's Domain Security section. Is my domain contact information now displayed to the public?

No. Definitely not! Your domain contact info is still kept private and not visible to the public, provided that the Privacy + Protection toggle is set to "On". However, the added security features for your domain, such as SMS alerts, blacklist monitoring, and security scans, are turned off if you disable these functions.


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