Thursday, June 28, 2007

Private Domain Registration: It's a MUST

I recently registered a domain name. It's been a while since I'd done that and boy have times changed. Within 48 hours, I received my first SPAM phone call from APlus.net (caller ID 877-577-0877). Do a google search on this phone number and you'll find myriad people who've been called by APlus.

After doing a little research, I was ready for their next call. I received that call this morning. Here's how I ended the conversation in 48 seconds:

Them: "Hi, is Michael there? This is Andrea from APlus.net, do you currently have a web site up and running yet?"

Me (>) APlus.net (+)

> How did you get this number?
+ When you register a web site your whois information is published.
> Oh, so you're harvesting the whois database for information, then.
+ No, we're not harvesting the whois database.
> OK, so where do you get your information from then?
+ APlus: I don't know, but we're not harvesting the whois database.
> Ah, I see. Well would you please put my name on the "please do not call me ever again list?" Thanks.
+ OK, fine (she hung up on me).

30 seconds later I got four marketing emails from APlus. Here's what was at the bottom of each message:

This e-mail was sent to you because you recently spoke to an Aplus.Net sales representative and requested more information about our services. You are not subscribed to a mailing list and will not receive additional emails unless you request them.

Moral of the story: register your domain name privately. If using GoDaddy.com, this costs a mere 6.95/yr and uses DomainsByProxy. What this means is that DomainsByProxy's information is made public, not yours. For most techies out there this is common knowledge. But for people registering websites for the first time--or for those who it's been a while since the last time--be sure to spend the extra $6.95.

UPDATE 7/30/07: Haven't received any marketing materials from APlus, so it looks like I am in the clear for now.