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What Is Domain Privacy Protection? GDPR Domain Masking & Whois Privacy

Domain Security

Domain Privacy + Protection

Every domain name has public information tied to it about the owner of the domain. The name, email address, phone number, and even home address of the owner is publicly available online in the WHOIS database. The rules and laws surrounding domain names require every domain name owner to disclose their contact information. But most people wouldn't want their personal contact information available to the public where scammers, hackers, and anyone else can see it. This is what makes Domain Privacy so useful. Domain Privacy is a service Bluehost offers that will hide your personal contact information from the public WHOIS database and replace it with generic Bluehost contact information instead. You are still the owner of the domain name, but your personal contact information can be kept safe.

Domain Privacy + Protection protects you from:

  1. Spam and other unsolicited emails.
  2. Unwanted phone calls and postal mail.
  3. Identity theft.
  4. Fraudulent domain transfers.
  5. Competitors being able to look up which domains you own.
  6. Malware and SEO blacklists 
  7. Receive SMS notifications regarding important changes to your domain

GDPR Domain Masking

While European customer's contact details will be masked publicly by default due to GDPR, this means also that you will not know instantly when someone is looking to contact about the domain in question. Keeping Domain Privacy on the domain will allow any inquiries to be forwarded to you. Domain Privacy adds an additional 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.


WHOIS Domain Privacy Availability

Not all domain extensions (TLDs) are allowed to have a private WHOIS. Each Registry sets its own rules regarding this. Most ccTLD's (country code top-level domains) do not actually allow WHOIS protection. In March 2005, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) said that all owners of .us domains will not have the option of keeping their information private, and that information must be made public.


Enable Domain Privacy

  1. Login to your Bluehost cPanel account.
  2. Choose the Domains tab from the side navigation menu to the left.
  3. Next to the domain name you wish to update, click the ▼ icon next to Manage, then choose the Security tab from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Scroll down and look for the Domain Privacy section, enable the Domain Privacy feature by clicking the toggle (If you have not purchased it already you will be able to purchase it here.)

    Note: You can also enable Malware Scans and SMS Notifications in the widget. These features are included with Domain Privacy + Protection - after you enable it a new Settings tab will appear on the domain management page

  5. All Set! Your domain now has privacy enabled.



Why do I need to make my domain registration information private?

The personal information used to register domains is recorded in the international ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Fortunately, new laws are already helping protect your personal information. Domain Privacy + Protection adds an additional layer of privacy.

How does Domain Privacy + Protect protect my personal information?

Domain Privacy + Protect masks any personal information displayed on the ICANN directory with generic contact information.

How does Malware Scanner work?

Once installed, the Malware Scanner automatically checks your site every 24 hours detecting malware and notifying you about it before it causes problems.

What kind of notifications will I receive about my domain?

You decide what critical actions you want to be notified about, and we’ll send you SMS notifications to keep you updated. That way you’ll know if there are any unauthorized attempts to purchase, re-register, or move your domain.