By default, the information you provide when you register your company’s domain name is accessible to anyone — even spammers. Not using your real name and contact information on the registration of your Internet site is one option to protect your privacy, but it leaves ownership of your domain name in jeopardy. It is much safer to use a private registration than risk losing your company’s Web address.
Most domain name registrars do not authenticate the information you provide during the process of registering the domain name itself. Consequently, not putting your real name on the registration of your company’s domain name will not stop you from initially obtaining your registration and launching your website. However, not providing your real name can become problematic if your website ever faces legal scrutiny.
Not providing your real name on your website’s registration can put you on the wrong side of both the law and domain name registration policy. Using a fake name constitutes “bad faith” in both the eyes of United States anti-cybersquatting legislation and ICANN’s own guidelines. A bad faith registration can lead to the registrar voiding your ownership of the domain name.
One option you have if you want to keep your contact information from prying eyes but still maintain a good faith rental agreement, you can register your site through a registrar that offers private registration. You register the site under your real name and give the registrar accurate contact information, but the registrar keeps that information out of the public records.
Keeping Your Domain
Your business’ website address is too important to lose on a legal technicality. If you lose your domain registration because of a bad faith registration, you won’t even be able to post a re-direct to a new site. Your traffic of customers and the search engine rankings you’ve cultivated will go away overnight. It isn’t worth leaving one of your business’ most valuable assets vulnerable to keep your contact information when you could simply pay a private registration fee.