Cyber-security issues are one of the biggest challenges that businesses face today. Recent statistics and trends reveal an exponential increase in breached and hacked personal data and identity theft primarily due to a lack of poor cybersecurity measures in practice.
Given the damaging impact that data breaches can have on a company, effective cyber security practices must be in place. In this article, we will discuss one such essential measure – Domain Privacy Protection. Let’s get started!
What Is Domain Privacy Protection by Bluehost?
For any business that wants to build a web presence, the first step begins with registering a domain. In that process, you risk exposing your business contact information to marketing firms, spammers, and cyber fraudsters.
ICANN – an organization that governs the rules pertaining to domain names – now requires all website owners and domain administrators to make their names, phone numbers, email addresses and even mailing addresses publicly available at the time of domain registration.
Unfortunately, ICANN does not practice any strict measures to protect this confidential business contact information from hackers, unsolicited marketing outreach, and cyber threats. The information is freely available to anyone in the WHOIS directory.
WHOIS is an Internet record protocol that helps identify the ownership of a domain along with accurate personal information. In fact, it questions – “Who is responsible for a domain name or an IP address.”
To protect your personal information from being publicly available for scammers and hackers, it is important to have Domain Privacy Protection in place. Most domain registrars provide domain privacy as an add-on service when you register a domain. It is also known as WHOIS Privacy Protection.
Benefits Of Domain Privacy Protection
It is not surprising to ask “Is domain privacy protection necessary?” The answer is – it depends on whether you want to safeguard your personal business information from being public in the WHOIS database. Before you make a decision, here are some benefits of Domain Privacy Protection that you should consider:
1. Protect Your Personal Contact Information
One of the primary reasons why you should have Domain Protection is that it helps secure your business information. When your personal information becomes public with domain registration, then WHOIS Privacy Protection service can protect the data from getting hacked or exposed to spamming or fraudulent activities. Your business data will be masked by the domain registrar’s standard contact information, maintaining privacy and safety.
2. Prevent Unsolicited Contact
If the personal data provided during domain registration falls into the hands of cyber fraudsters, then your business may fall prey to junk emails/phone calls or spam. With your personal data exposed on the WHOIS database, there is nothing that can stop pushy marketers from reaching you and presenting their unwanted sales pitch. Be ready to receive tons of phone calls and emails, everyone pushing you to buy something.
By enabling Domain Privacy Protection, you can hide your personal information from domain hijackers, spammers, and unwanted solicitors. So, be assured that you will not receive spam emails, unwanted phone calls, or unsolicited postal mails.
3. Protect Your Website & Business From Hacking
Scammers may use this valuable data for hacking and causing potential risk to your business.
If the data is not protected, anyone can break into the domain control panel, and engage in a fraudulent domain transfer. Thus, WHOIS Privacy Protection helps keep your domain as well as the business secure.
4. Stop Data Scrapping
When your personal contact details along with domain information are available to the public, it is vulnerable. Through data scraping, your business-critical data may be sold to third parties, compromising the security of your domain, website, and the entire business.
Where Can I Get Domain Privacy Protection For Free?
Now that you know the importance to have Domain Privacy Protection, you might be thinking “should I buy WHOIS Privacy Protection or get it for free?” You can get the domain privacy protection for free; thanks to several premier domain registrars that provide the service as a free add-on.
Bluehost is a top web hosting company that you can consider for a free Domain Privacy Protection service. When you sign up with Bluehost’s “Basic” web hosting plan, you get a free domain. However, you still have to pay an additional fee to get the domain privacy add-on. Interestingly, when you upgrade to their premium plans such as “Choice Plus” and “Pro”, you get domain privacy for free with their shared hosting plans.
And if you want free domain privacy protection for a lifetime, then you have two great options – Namecheap and NameSilo. They provide high levels of domain privacy as an add-on when you register for a domain name with them. There is no need to pay any additional fee for the service.
How To Get A Free Domain Name From Bluehost?
WordPress Hosting – Free domain name for 1 year with all the WordPress hosting plans
Shared Hosting – Free domain name for 1 year with all the Shared hosting plans
VPS Hosting – Free domain name for 1 year with all the VPS hosting plans
When you opt for any of the web hosting plans mentioned above, you can log into your account and get your free domain name activated. However, as mentioned earlier, the domain name is free only for the first year and then you will have to pay the charges for domain renewal.
How to Enable Bluehost Domain Privacy?
To enable Bluehost domain privacy, you must be registered with their Choice Plus or Pro web hosting plan that provides 1 Domain Privacy + Protection for free. Here are the steps for getting a free domain name with Bluehost and get the Domain Privacy + Protection add-on:
Step 1: Visit the Domains page at the official website of Bluehost. Click here
Step 2: Next, check the availability of your preferred domain name on the search bar available on the Domains page
Step 3: Once you finish choosing your desired domain name at Bluehost, set up your web hosting account to start building a website and get your domain name for free.
Usually, Bluehost provides four types of web hosting plans, each including one/unlimited domain names. Domain Privacy + Protection add-on is not available for free with every plan. They provide free domain privacy service only with their premium plans – Choice Plus and Pro.
Have a look at the Bluehost hosting plans:
Step 4: Select a suitable plan and get started with building a website + free domain name + Domain Privacy + Protection.
Step 5: Next, log in to your Bluehost cPanel account and click the Domains tab from the navigation menu on the left side of the page.
Step 6: Determine which domain name you want to update and select the ▼ icon next to Manage. From the drop-down menu, choose the Security tab.
Step 7: Scroll down the options and visit the Domain Privacy section. Here, you need to enable the Domain Privacy option by clicking the toggle. Make sure you have purchased Bluehost Choice Plus or Pro hosting plans to get the domain privacy feature.
All set! Bluehost Domain Privacy feature is now enabled to secure your personal contact information and protect it from scammers.
Bluehost Domain Privacy Protection Price – How Much Does Domain Privacy Cost?
Bluehost Domain Privacy feature costs only $0.99 per month – $11.88 yearly on average with the Basic plan. The renewal costs also remain the same. This is comparatively much cheaper as compared to the other web hosting providers. And if you want to get Domain Privacy for free, you need to select their premium plans – Choice Plus and Pro.
Choice Plus is the most recommended Bluehost hosting plan that provides many features and add-ons such as free unlimited domains and free Domain Privacy + Protection at just $6.95 per month.
You can also opt for Bluehost Pro hosting plan that gives you access to free unlimited plans, Domain Privacy Protection, dedicated IP, and much more at $13.95 per month.
Is Bluehost GDPR Compliant?
In case you are from the EU (European Union), you don’t need to opt for the domain privacy protection feature, this is because the domains of the clients living in Europe are protected by the GDPR by default. Prior to the GDPR policy, any website that did not have domain privacy protection enabled would have its contact information available in public on the WHOIS website.
Bluehost, as a web hosting company, does an excellent job in helping to build highly functional and visually appealing WordPress websites. After all, they are the Official recommendation of WordPress.
Is Bluehost Domain Privacy Protection Worth It?
So, is Bluehost domain privacy protection worth investing in? To be honest, why would you pay for the service when you can get it for free? You can either choose to sign up with Bluehost’s premium plans to get free domain privacy or choose better alternatives.
If you are considering a comprehensive package solution, you may consider Bluehost as they are more reliable in terms of market reach, reliability, and customer support. For more affordable options or to get free domain privacy protection for a lifetime, choosing NameSilo or Namecheap may be a wise decision. It all depends on your security requirements, type of business/website, domain type, and your budget.