When you register your first domain name, you get your introduction to one of them. There’s a lot of information they want. Your name, your email address, your physical address, your phone number. For each of 4 separate categories, and the Registrant, Admin and Technical categories are publicly available
Email addresses, phone number and physical addresses must be valid. Once again the right to privacy of law-abiding individuals is being abridged supposedly to help catch lawbreakers. Since this information would be provided under a court order making it publicly available just invites abuse.
Spammers, scammers, stalkers and the idle whacko can easily get this information. The result is an increase in the amount of spam. So, there are two ways to protect your privacy if you are a private individual without access to a legal entity:
First a proxy registration is one alternative. You make binding legal agreement with a company which will register the domain name as if they owned it and then provide their own information to meet the requirement. For each domain, they will set-up a special email which they will monitor and forward to you, usually after spam filtering, if you want them to.
They retain your data and will also monitor physical mail. You will be notified of first class mail which appears to or could be legal documents or if registered or couriered mail arrives.
The other alternative is called “private registration”. Here your name would still appear as registrant. You would provide the names of the admin and technical contacts. But the address, email and phone number would be provided and monitored by the organization handling the private registration in essentially the same manner as a proxy registration. Thus with this alternative you remain in full legal control of your domain name since it is registered in your name rather than the name of a proxy.
If you decide to pursue a proxy or private registration, make very sure that you are working with a legitimate company with a track record. A domain name can be a very valuable possession. Both your registrar and, if it’s a separate organization, the entity that does the proxy or private registration must be quality, legitimate outfits. Registrars offering extremely low prices which are way out of line with the going rates – unless it’s a special – just might be after your credit card and identity.