When I purchased my domain name it asked if I should protect it. The protection service costs an extra $10 per year. Do I need to do this?
As a quick recap for those who haven’t purchased a domain name, it’s worth noting that anyone can purchase any domain name that isn’t already in use. This involves signing up with a domain registrar, indicating the domain name you want (like thisismydomain.com) and paying for the service. Along the way, you must provide some personal information, and it’s this information to which the question refers. (For a list of popular domain registrars, visit this site: http://goo.gl/VZntw).
In general, we think you should always keep your personal information as private as possible. If you do not have a business under which you can register the domain name, then we recommend you use the domain privacy service that most domain registrars offer, for an extra fee.
If you want to know information about a domain name, you can go to the website http://whois.com, and enter the domain name. You will see information about who owns the domain, when it was registered, when it expires and much more. Often, this search provides personal information about the person or company that registered the domain name, which is exactly what you would be trying to avoid.
For a small fee, the registrar of your domain will provide a service that allows the real ownership information to be hidden from public view. This service normally costs around $10 per year, and if you purchase the service for multiple years, you can save some money.
Spamming engines use the whois registration info as a prime source of email addresses for spamming, so make sure you hide your personal information when registering for a domain name if at all possible. Remember that information on the Internet is “forever”—protect your privacy every way you can.