Own a domain? Protect your private details!

Ok, so you registered your domain… hurray, congratulations to you… very exciting I’m sure ;) Why didn’t you take private domain registration? Do you realize that your info is now public and anyone can view it and misuse it?? What I mean is that those details you entered – including your full name, address, phone number & email are now available online for anyone to see! Try it now go to who.is and put your domain name in. Ok I’ll give you 5 seconds

4

3

2

1

See… creepy right?! I’m not going to bother going into the reasons as to why you wouldn’t want that information public (And Alessandro above does a better job than me!!). I’ll leave that up to you… BUT if you don’t like it you have a couple of options available to you that I think you should consider for your current and future domains. Enter Domain Privacy. Essentially what this does is allow you to *hide* these details using another entities details. So, when you do a search instead of showing your own details you show the other companies. The company then forwards emails to your address and therefore still keeps you in touch with your domain, but you don’t have to be worried about your information being displayed. This service usually costs around $9 / domain¬† / year and Viola your details are hidden.

If you’re a cheapskate, you can also manually change the information yourself. So you can say that you are “John Smith” and that you live at “1223 Washinton Place, Washinton DC”, and use a phone number for a local pizza joint in DC. Then, you create a separate free email address with gmail or windows live mail and use that email as the address for all of your domains. While this kind of set-up is grey area in terms of legality¬† it again protects your private data.

Personally I like to use either domain privacy services included for FREE with registration or i use registerprivatedomain.com which costs me less than a dollar per domain.

Why do people get VPNs and which one would you suggest?

what_is_a_vpn

I’ve had so many friends in the past years asking me why people get VPNs and what they are so I thought I’d write a post about it. Essentially a VPN is a “Virtual Private Network”.. great… what the hell does that mean? May as well call it a virtuoso potato nugget, probably make us much sense. So let me break it down into easy speak – a VPN (as you will use it) allows you to access stuff as if you were somewhere else. So.. you could be in Bermuda and appear to be accessing the internet from Australia. Or you could be in China and be accessing the web as if you were in the USA. So.. you say why use it?

1.) Protecting your privacy – essentially when you surf the web you have an IP address assigned to you google, facebook and friends all track you based on that IP address and therefore can tell where you’ve been. However – access the internet through a VPN and provided you don’t log into facebook, google and friends you’re just another weirdo that they don’t know – or even better they think you’re someone else who also uses the same VPN service. Attention away from you.

2.) Bypass government filters – in countries (like China or Australia or Great Britain) the government sees itself as the big nanny and decides to block access to certain sites. By using a VPN you can still access the sites that nanny said NO NO NO to..

3.) Access cool content – sort of like above but different. This is where companies act like a nanny and tell you “NO YOU CAN ONLY ACCESS THIS IF YOU ARE IN MY COUNTRY” and again – using a VPN – easy… you bypass it by appearing as if you are in that country. (Think Netflix access if you are out of the USA or BBC player access if you are out of the UK)

So, hopefully you can see the point of using a VPN, if you can’t then don’t bother. Which one would I recommend? Easy – https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/

Why? Because they are pretty cheap, easy to use and in my experience rather reliable.