A matter brought to my attention just a few minutes ago – visibility of personal data in WHOIS info.
I registered the domain
jonathangazeley.com with No-IP. It worked, and I thought nothing more of it. But this morning one of my colleagues received a personalised scam and it seems likely that the scammers retrieved his personal information from WHOIS.
I checked my own WHOIS data and was shocked (although not really surprised) to see my personal data appear before my eyes. My name, home address, mobile phone number and email address were all included. This is bad news, as anyone can get hold of this information – such as scammers, spammers, legitimate (but annoying) marketing, or even real-life criminals who want to know where I live.
Fortunately No-IP offers a private registration option for $9.95/year. I immediately purchased this option and now my WHOIS data shows nothing except my name.
I urge anyone who has registered a domain to check their own WHOIS data and take appropriate steps if necessary. It’s easy in Linux:
[jonathan@poseidon ~]$ whois jonathangazeley.com
[Redirected to whois.no-ip.com]
NOTICE: Access to No-IP.com WHOIS information is provided to assist persons in determining the contents of a domain name registration record in the No-IP.com registrar database. The data in this record is provided by No-IP.com for informational purposes only, and No-Ip.com does not guarantee its accuracy. This service is intended only for query-based access. You agree that you will use this data only for lawful purposes and that, under no circumstances will you use this data to: (a) allow, enable, or otherwise support the transmission by e-mail, telephone, or facsimile of mass unsolicited, commercial advertising or solicitations to entities other than the data recipient's own existing customers; or (b) enable high volume, automated, electronic processes that send queries or data to the systems of Registry Operator or any ICANN-Accredited Registrar, except as reasonably necessary to register domain names or modify existing registrations. All rights reserved. Public Interest Registry reserves the right to modify these terms at any time. By submitting this query, you agree to abide by this policy.
Domain Name: JONATHANGAZELEY.COM
Created On: 02-May-2008 10:53:42 UTC
Last Updated On: 02-May-2008 10:53:42 UTC
Expiration Date: 02-May-2010 10:53:41 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar: Vitalwerks Internet Solutions, LLC / No-IP.com
Registrant Name: Gazeley, Jonathan
Registrant Street1: ATTN: jonathangazeley.com, c/o No-IP.com Registration Privacy
Registrant Street2: P.O. Box 19083
Registrant City: Reno
Registrant State/Province: NV
Registrant Postal Code: 89511
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.7758531883
Registrant Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Admin Name: Gazeley, Jonathan
Admin Street1: ATTN: jonathangazeley.com, c/o No-IP.com Registration Privacy
Admin Street2: P.O. Box 19083
Admin City: Reno
Admin State/Province: NV
Admin Postal Code: 89511
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone: +1.7758531883
Admin Email: email@example.com
Name Server: NS2.NO-IP.COM
Name Server: NS1.NO-IP.COM
Name Server: NS3.NO-IP.COM
Name Server: NS4.NO-IP.COM
Name Server: NS5.NO-IP.COM
As you can see, all of this data (except my name, of course) now belongs to No-IP. Problem solved!