How is it that one day after buying a domain, you get spammed with emails? Do these people have a secret source to get your email? The source is not a secret and you’ll see why. You’ll learn about how people use the WHOIS database to discover the domain owner and what you can do about it.
What Is the WHOIS Database?
This is the database that records a lot of vital information about a website. It allows people to contact the owner and the hosting provider about their concerns. People also use it to see if a domain is registered or not.
Law enforcement can use it to help them investigate as well. They use it to track down spammers and others. Other times they use the WHOIS database to help them seize a site used for things like selling drugs or human trafficking.
You can read more about it from the official source right here.
How and Why People Bother Finding Out the Owner
Finding the domain owner can be as simple as typing “whois domain_xyz.com” in a command prompt. It is easy to install if your operating system doesn’t include it. There are websites that do this for less tech savvy people too.
This tells someone who the registrar is and when it was created. It can sometimes show the owner’s name, email, phone number, and their living address. People use this to contact owners to buy domains sometimes. Doing this helps business owners protect their brands.
Other people use software to guess possible names in order to scrape the contact information for marketing purposes. They might send out generic emails offering logo designs, web hosting, and many other things.
Hackers also use it to figure out the email address for “spear phishing attacks”. This tactic is to send a phony password change request to an important employee’s email.
Sometimes they will believe the email’s real and fill it out so that hacker can easily access their account. Other hackers send malware in the email’s file attachment for bolder attacks.
What You Can Do to Prevent This
There are ways to prevent being known as the domain owner. The easiest thing to do is to pay for the private option during registration. Your domain registrar will put anonymous information instead of the information you give them. This is enough for most people.
Other people get a P.O box for about $10 a month to use as a business address. They might want to receive mail, but they don’t want it sent where they sleep. This puts a layer between the owner and a bad actor. You should look into this because sometimes this information is given up by the registrar.
You can also get a prepaid phone and a separate email to register with if you go this way. Make sure they genuinely work in case you’re contacted. Most people don’t have to worry about being exposed. It’s just a good to know about just in case.
You will get some spam to your email no matter what. Spammers use software to guess emails through brute force. Don’t reply to any spam emails and they’ll assume your account is inactive. Answering a spam email will cause them to sell it off to other spammers.
Meta Title: WHOIS database Is the Reason People Know You Bought a Domain
Meta Description: Find out the reason behind these annoying phone calls you get once you buy a domain, understand how and why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.