I Know Where You Live – WHOIS Data and Why it’s Important


Okay, I don’t know where all of you live. But some of you, I do.

I’ve mentioned before that as a blogger, I worry about my personal safety. There is one thing that I am absolutely stunned that more bloggers don’t know about: WHOIS privacy protection.

WHOIS what?

WHOIS Data and Why It's Important

The WHOIS is the information about who owns a domain name. It includes your first and last name, as well as your address. If you’re like me, when you purchased your domain name you opted to pay about $10 extra a year for privacy protection. That means that your name and address are unlisted. It’s kind of like not being in the phone book of the internet.

Privacy Protected WHOIS

I am STUNNED by how many bloggers don’t have privacy protection on their domain names. If you don’t, I can see where you live RIGHT NOW. I can get on Google Maps and see a picture of your house. I could come stalk you in person (I won’t, I promise).

Are you scared yet?

Sure, with IP Addresses and Google you could probably find out where most people live. I would just rather not make it that easy for someone  to find me. I went through and looked up the web addresses for some of my favorite blogs and trust me, there are a lot of you who have all your personal data out there for people to see.

Do you have a .blogspot.com name? Then this isn’t something you have to worry about. But if you bought your domain name through the Blogger admin panel (as I did when I used Blogger) check your WHOIS immediately. My domain was privacy protected for one year and when I renewed it through Google Checkout, it did not add privacy protection for the second year. Thus, my address was out there for the world to see.

Want to see if you have privacy protection? Click this link and type in your domain name. You are listed as the “registrant.” If your name and address come up and you aren’t down with that, contact your registrar (Enom, Godaddy, etc. as is listed at the top of the WHOIS information) and get privacy protection added ASAP.

You’re welcome in advance for ensuring that you never become the “blogger murder” case that a Law & Order: SVU episode is based off of.

  • Wow, thanks for posting this. Scary stuff. When I bought my domain I chose the privacy option as well. But its good to know that it isn’t automatically renewed in subsequent years.


    • With some registrars, it might me. Mine did not allow me to keep it through Google Checkout. I wound up realizing months later that my address was out there for the world to see.

  • It really creeps me out how easy it is to find people. I recently got a Christmas card from a coworker and she shared she’d found my address just by searching my name. Although I don’t mind her having my address it did scare me because I naively thought by not listing my name in the phonebook it wouldn’t be so easy to find out where I live. I’m really I have an alarm system and a barking dog, even if she would just lick anyone who actually came through the door.

    • This is why I keep my last name completely separate from my blog. My hope is that though someone could maybe figure it out, that it would be difficult. The internet is terrifying, isn’t it?

  • I think this is such an important post. It’s easy for people to forget that ANYONE can read your blog, and you wouldn’t give a perfect stranger a picture of your house and/or your address. I’ve seen so many posts where a blogger will blur out their address on an envelope but then have a picture of a package they received with their address clear as day when you enlarge the photo. I don’t like to be the “creepy” person that tells them but at the same time, at least I’m not an actual creep or stalker, I’m just worried! This also goes for Instagram, if it’s not protected and you link from you blog, I’ve seen a lot of identifying information on bloggers’ Instagrams.

    • I’ve seen the same thing! I’ve wondered why people do that. I also try not to give away too many obvious locations on instagram either, unless I make it clear that I’m visiting another city. I guess this is mostly a non-issue for me because 90% of my pictures are of my dog.

  • Such good to know info! I had no idea I could hide this information. Peace of mind is definitely worth $10/year!

    • It definitely is worth $10 a year. I’d pay a lot more than that, honestly. Just make sure as you renew your domain name that you renew your privacy protection as well.

  • AMEN. This terrifies me. I just found some of my favorite blogger’s addresses on whois. SCARY! I am sharing this – everyone needs to know.

    • Please do share it. This is really something people need to know! Thank you!

  • Jessa

    Thanks for sharing this!! I checked and I am safe!!

  • Yikes! I remember when I signed up, I thought to myself “meh, better just fork over the money”, and I’m glad I did. I tested it by running other bloggersin it, and yikes! All of their information is right there. That’s some scary stuff.

    • I think perhaps I made people a little unsafe by telling everyone in the world how to find bloggers home addresses but hopefully this will help them to change that. We’re all creepers today though. I checked out tons of blogs to see how many people don’t have privacy protection and it is A LOT of bloggers.

  • You scared the BEJEEBUS out of me when you told me what my home address was. I quickly paid for that privacy option and never looked back!

    • I’m so glad! The same thing happened to me and I freaked when I found out my information was out there on the internet.

  • AHHHHH MINE IS ON THERE. Thankfully it’s an old address I had at the time I registered, but still not okay! I shouldn’t be surprised by this but it’s very scary.

    • Well at least now you know and you can add it now or once you renew your domain name!

  • How scary! I just paid for mine. I didn’t realize it didn’t renew on some. Thank you for putting this out there. We have enough of our lives out there we don’t need our address out there too.

    • Mine didn’t renew after the first year because I did it through Blogger, not through a traditional registrar. It’s just something to be aware of.

  • I never would have thought about privacy protection. Call me crazy, but it never even entered my mind. I will be purchasing some now though. Hopefully it’s not too expensive, but I guess it doesn’t matter. I don’t want any crazy stalkers finding us!

    • I think perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of Law & Order: SVU. I worry a lot about having my name associated with my blog for professional reasons but I also worry about being murdered. I’m ridiculous but I do think that privacy protection is worth it.

  • Oh my lord this post got my heart racing. I am constantly worried about stuff like that. I turned off my settings in my iphone that track where the pictures were taken because I saw some 60 minutes episode about how people can track to your home from those….Thank you so much for posting this. I still have a blogspot domain for now but if that changes in the future I will definitely be referring to this post again!

    • I always have location settings turned off on my phone and pictures and stuff. I’m always amazed by the idiots who check in to “home” on foursquare, blasting their location to the world. Idiots.

  • Would never have known. I’m currently just using a .blogspot url, but was planning on buying a domain name soon – this was so important to know. Thanks for getting it out there!

  • So, this is weird, but mine says that the address is in Arizona and I most definitely don’t live in Arizona. All of the other contact information looks like it might be for my host? Does that mean I did the privacy thing when I signed up?

    • You have privacy protection on your domain name. That is probably the address of your registrar. You’re all good. Just make sure you renew the privacy protection every year.

  • Of course my sh*t is blasted all over the place! Darn it!! On the phone with Enom now. Thank you so so much for this!! xo

    • You’re welcome! It might take a bit of time to update but sit tight and hopefully they can add it, though they may make you renew your domain name for another year.

  • I KNEW there had to be a perk for being too cheap to buy a domain name.

    • Yes, never buy a domain name for 99 cents. They always charge way more than that for privacy protection.

  • Holy Crap, this is terrifying. Luckily mine has an old address listed, but STILL. Thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks for the tip girl! This is super creepy!

  • So scary!! I definitely would want to pay the extra if I had a domain name. Thanks for the tip!

  • I don’t own my domain right now, but this is really good info to know in case I ever decide to purchase it. I never would have thought of doing this if you hadn’t mentioned it.

  • THANK YOU for this information! My hubby helped me sign up for my domain and although he is usually very, VERY careful…I’m not certain he even knew this info was out there. I am going to find out for sure if I do have privacy protection. Thank you so much for informing me…I wouldn’t have thought THAT was a way to get such personal information out there.

    BTW – do you really live in WA? (Because I do.)


    • No, when you have privacy protection on your domain name, the address of your domain registrar is listed instead of yours. I live on the east coast. So glad this was helpful!

  • Wow, thanks for sharing! How creepy! I’m definitely going to look into my privacy settings now.

  • I’m glad you shared this! I’ve always shelled out for the WhoIs privacy through Bluehost and WordPress, but I just got a renewal notice. I wouldn’t have even thought to check on the privacy renewal.

    • That’s what happened to me last time. I did not realize that it didn’t automatically renew the privacy protection and then when my domain renewed, my privacy protection was gone. Scary!

  • When I bought my domain name, I wondered if it was just a ploy to get more money, but I paid it anyway. So glad I did! Definitely sharing this because I see some bloggers I know whose info isn’t protected!

    • If I had not previously worked for a domains registrar, I never would have known this. I’m so glad I did.

  • I paid the extra for privacy protection, too. If it wouldn’t have been an option, I wouldn’t have even purchased my domain. Noooo way.

  • Whew, I was worried for a few minutes, but thankfully GoDaddy website info is protected! This is definitely useful though!

    • Not all godaddy purchased domain names are protected so you must have bought the privacy protection with it.

  • This is terrible news. I thought I paid for the protection plan. On that right now!!!!

  • WOW – thank you for posting this! all of my information is on there. holy crap. thank you so much!

  • Thank God I finally did something right last year!! Mine says AZ which must be where GoDaddy is that’s not where I am! But thanks for posting this!! Very helpful!

    • Yup, as long as it isn’t your information and the “registrant” says something like “domains by proxy” or “privacy” something, you are good.

  • I just looked mine up and its an address in Arizona. I live in NC. So I’m good?

    • Yes, yours says “registrant name: registrant private”. You’re good. Just make sure to renew the privacy protection when you renew your domain name.

  • it amazes me that people don’t know about this stuff but it’s hard to know! it really can be a little creepy out there.

    • I used to work for a domain registrar so this is something I know a lot about but it’s scary how many people don’t know about it.

  • Oh gosh, I had no idea all that info was on the internet for the world to see but sure enough I looked up my blog url and there is my last name and address. Thanks for this because I’m definitely buying the privacy protection now!!!

    • You’re welcome! It’s definitely worth the money to buy privacy protection.

  • Thank you for posting this! It’s scary that I didn’t know about any of this. Thankfully the city and info listed isn’t the city I live in.

    • You have privacy protection on yours. Just make sure to renew the privacy protection when you renew your domain name.

  • Thanks for sharing this! It’s greatly appreciated!

  • The face that people could figure out where I live since I’m blogging has been at the forefront of my mind lately. My husband is always sure that our house number isn’t included in any photos, etc. Thanks for bringing this up, though. I just go through blogger.com right now, but this is so necessary to be aware of if I ever buy my domain name. Thanks again and hope you’re having a great day!

    • I try to make sure I don’t give away locations based on photos either. It’s just being smart about safety. While I’d like to think that all of my readers are wonderful women between the ages of 18-45 (which most of them are), all it takes is one creep.

  • I just about freaked out reading your post. Thankfully none of my information was visible, although I never took the precaution to do so. I have to be extra careful about information I put out because of my husband’s job. Thank you for sharing this.

    • No problem. Just make sure to renew the privacy protection when you renew your domain name.

  • This is horrifying! Thank you for bringing this to our attention – I immediately checked and my info was there for all the world to see! I have since gotten myself protected and shared this post with everytone – I soooo do not need a Criminal Minds episode made based on my death LOL!

    • You’re welcome! I’m so glad I could help.

  • My address isn’t on WhoIs, but it gives you a link to GoDaddy where my address is posted. Guess I’ll have to contact GoDaddy and get that fixed. It has my address and phone number. Lovely!

    • When I visited the WHOIS and typed in your blog url, I was able to see your full name and address. Call Godaddy ASAP.

  • wow! thanks!

  • When I typed in my blog’s URL it definitely came up with my phone number and an old address. I have a domain name registered through Blogger (Google?) so how do I go about getting that privacy protection added? Through Google or do I have to call someone?

  • so scary! I guess I bought the protection plan because none of my information is there. whew.

  • Thanks for the info. I went and checked mine immediately and was relieved to see that my information is hidden.

  • Well color me oblivious – I had no clue about this! I just tried to stalk myself, but the address listed wasn’t even in the right state… good luck finding me stalkers! Mwahahahahah

  • Wow! That is really scary! Thanks for getting the information out.

  • Thank you so much for sharing this. I just changed my settings and paid for the privacy plan. I also learned that it’s probably not a bad idea to check things like that going forward. So much appreciation 🙂

  • You know, I had zero clue that I could opt out of Who Is! Im going to look at my account now to see if I can’t change that!

  • Thanks for the tip! I always wondered what the WhoIs information was all about. Luckily, I opted for privacy protection! You’re awesome for sharing!

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  • Such an important post, thanks for sharing! When we got our domain it was a shock for us to find out our info was out there too. Turns out a .co.uk address doesn’t qualify for privacy protection with Go Daddy! Would recommend anyone with a .co.uk or anything other than .com to use a fake address on their details to be safe. Something like Google HQ address would be good rather than someone elses home address!

  • OH. MY. GOSH! I am so glad I stopped to read this post! You know, before I had purchased my domain name, I even googled “Is buying privacy protection worth it?” and I got a lot of feed from people saying that it wasn’t worth it, blah blah blah. I should have never listened to them!

    After reading your post, I looked my site up and was blown away by all the info out there for the world to see! AGH! I immediately called and had privacy protection added to my blog. I then sat around the full 30 min, waiting for the whois site to refresh my info properly. I’m protected now! Phew! Thank you so so much for this post!!

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  • Super scary! Thank you for the information!!! I did not know about that. Just purchased a protection plan

  • Could you check mine out for me? When I put it in, it’s just showing WordPress, not my domain…? Help!

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