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Whois privacy

When you register a domain, you provide information to the domain host. Squarespace prioritizes keeping your information private.

This guide explains domain privacy, Whois, and how to disable your domain privacy.

What is Whois?

Whois is an internet record that lists information about domains. Whois records are used by ICANN, the organization that oversees domain names, for a variety of purposes to keep domains organized and legitimate. The information in a Whois record includes:

  • Registration date
  • Nameservers
  • DNS records
  • Domain expiration date
  • Registrar organization
  • Domain owner contact information

These records are stored in public databases like Tucows or ICANN's lookup. The term "Whois" is frequently used to refer to both the record and the database containing it.

What is domain privacy?

Many domain registrars offer services called "domain privacy," "Whois protection," or “private registration” that remove your personal contact information from the Whois record. Since these records are public, spam marketers often crawl them for email addresses.

Domain privacy for Squarespace domains

Many domain providers charge a fee for domain privacy, but Squarespace includes this automatically for most Squarespace domains. Whois privacy isn't available for the following TLDs:

If you don't have one of the domains listed above, your ownership information is kept private. Depending on your registrar, some ownership fields display when domain privacy is on:

  • If your registrar is Squarespace Domains LLC, your state or province, country, and organization name (if one is provided) will show.
  • If your registrar is Tucows, all fields of ownership information are hidden.

No additional action is needed to hide your domain ownership information. This feature keeps your personal contact information safe and protects you from unwanted spam.

Whois contact form

If your domain registrar is Squarespace Domains LLC, a link to a contact form will show in the registrant email field. This link appears when you've enabled domain privacy. The form allows third-parties and individuals to contact domain owners to inquire about the domain. This is often used when someone wants to purchase the domain from the owner.

Disable domain privacy

In some cases, you may want to turn off domain privacy. For example, some non-profit organizations are required to show their domain contact information.

  1. In the Home menu, click Settings, then click Domains.
  2. Click the domain you want to unlock.
  3. Scroll down and uncheck Whois Privacy.

After you disable domain privacy, your contact information displays in the Whois record. What information shows depends on your registrar:

  • If your registrar is Squarespace Domains LLC, the owner's name, organization (if one is provided), address, postal code, country, and state show.
  • If your registrar is Tucows, your country and state or province show.
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