When you register a domain, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires publication of your name, company name, address, phone and other information in what’s called the WHOIS database. This large directory, which contains all of this information for every domain and its registrant, is free and open to the public. Enter any domain in the search box to find out who owns it.
The WHOIS database can tell you if a domain you’re interested in is available. If it already belongs to someone, you can use the information provided in the database to contact them to discuss a purchase. If you own a domain yourself, be sure to let your registrar know of any changes in your contact information. Not only is this important in case someone wants to make an offer on your domain name, it’s also required by ICANN.
And while it’s true that scammers search WHOIS for information to use in spamming, website hacking and identity theft, ICANN has policies to help reduce spam. Plus, your registrar may have individual domain protection options that would hide your information.