WHOIS is a command protocol on the internet. It was created to run queries regarding the ownership and registration details for domain names, autonomous internet based systems and IP addresses. A response and query system is used by the command protocol to retrieve registration details and domain name ownership from a substantial number of reputable databases. This information is delivered in an informational, digestible and easy to read format.
The database download is referred to as acquiring the entire WHOIS database in one download. This is in an easily readable file format. Informational packages are available for any registered domain. This can be specifically for top domains or TLD’s including .com, .org and .net. The WHOIS database downloads are also available for country code domains, ccTLDDs and the new d=generic domains or gTLDs.
Personal data being at risk is dependent on what data was used when the domain name, autonomous system or IP address was registered. If any of these digital assets were registered using a personal name or contact details such as a personal address, then yes, the personal data is now at risk.
The WHOIS database downloads are most frequently used for legitimate and safe non-commercial and commercial purposes. Unfortunately, this is not always how they are used. Privacy issues when downloading WHOIS data happen occasionally due to outright criminals, aggressive telemarketers and spammers. They mine databases with the intention of committing illegal or unethical activities.
If all personal details in the WHOIS database are not protected, there is a risk. In most instances, these details are used to send the individual or company a barrage of unsolicited digital messages or spam emails. The secondary risks are being targeted with unsolicited texts, robocalls and various fraudulent data. The purpose is to make phishing attempts against a mobile phone, work office or home. Finally, extremely nefarious hackers or criminals can mine the data from WHOIS to achieve unauthorized access to digital assets or financial accounts or perpetrate identity theft.
The best ways to protect personal data in the WHOIS database is to refrain from using a primary phone number, address or email address when registering your domain name, autonomous system or IP address. It is highly recommended and extremely important to use secondary contact information. This will not place your identity at risk. You can also use the privacy blocker offered by numerous IP address providers and domain registrars.
If you want to take an additional step to protect your identity, you can use the WHOIS privacy products and secondary contact information. This would make it extremely difficult for any of your information to be exploited or placed at risk. It is always very important to ensure your personal information is protected. It should be noted it is strictly prohibited to use false WHOIS data. This can lead to your IP or domain services being terminated.
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