More and more children are getting their own websites these days, including my own for whom I have already registered their own names as dot coms.
There are many reasons why kids are doing this – they want blogs to use as online diaries, they wish to learn how to design websites or they may even have a product or service that they are already looking to market.
Whatever their motives, you as parents need to put some thought into registering whichever domain name they are going to use.
REGISTERING A DOMAIN
Registering a domain name is a quick and painless task that most people can accomplish with ease, though you should watch out for some common domain name scams.
During the registration process you will be required to enter the contact information for the person who is making the purchase.
The sort of information that you will have to enter includes your name, address, phone number and valid email address.
What you may not realise is that this information is usually made public knowledge by default.
Therefore, especially in this age of identity theft, you will want to mask your personally identifiable information as much as possible.
I would recommend registering a domain name through an office address and using a post office box.
You may also want to choose a free email service, such as gmail, instead of using your own personal email account.
If you don’t do that then just about anyone can look up the full contact details of the person who owns that domain name.
Another precaution you can employ to prevent this breach of you or your kid’s privacy is to employ some form of privacy protection.
The majority of domain registrars these days offer such a service for free or a modest fee of a couple of dollars.
If you use such a service then all the registration information will be shielded from public view.
WHY YOU NEED TO GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME
If you have already registered a domain and included your personal information then it is possible to go back into your account to amend it.
That, however, doesn’t make the previously entered data inaccessable – if someone wants to see the historical details then they can if they pay a small fee and there is nothing you can do to prevent that.
Even if you add privacy protection at a later date the initial contact details that you entered will be stored.
Remember that once information is published on the internet it is incredibly difficult to get it removed permanently.
Therefore it is imperitive that you protect your data from the outset.