We often encounter new start ups or re-branders who purchased their domain name prior to contacting us for their website and email hosting and encounter large amounts of spam once they are up and going.
The culprit tends to be the domain name. Essentially, when any domain name is registered, all of the information is entered into a database, basically as a record of who owns which domain name for when there are multiple claims on the same domain name; its not dissimilar to registering a trademark, for example. Entering into this database is compulsory, and is done automatically when registering a domain name with any domain name provider.
This database contains various contact information, such as your email address.
As this is a publicly accessible database, people and bots can access it and mine it for data. In many cases its someone offering their website building services, have found your details, and seen that you have just purchased a domain name and have offered their services just in case you wanted them to build you a website. Other cases, some people would look to use this method to spread computer viruses, spyware, or for other malicious reasons.
You cannot remove your details directly from the database, but you can choose to mask them using a Domain Privacy option. This will prevent these people and companies from finding your details through the database as your details will be masked by generic details of ours. However, once your details have been in the public space it can be hard to return to a (close to) spam free environment.
There is no protection for .com.au domains . AU namespace policy prevents the details on a domain name Whois from being obscured, the only information available is:
– ABN/ACN/RBN or other eligibility criteria used – Therefore a business name, club group, etc.
– The name of the Registrant and Technical contact person.
– The email address of the Registrant and Technical contact person – but this is protected via Captcha and only available on the AusRegistry website.
No other details such as phone number or address are shown on a Whois record for a .AU domain name registration.
Domain protection is free and we implement this when anyone registers a domain with us. With .com.au domain names, protection is not available so we offer masked details of ours to help you avoid the spam.
There are other factors that add to influx of spam, but we find the above is one of the major culprits early on how spammers have attained your email details.