Have you received an email stating there is info missing from your WHOIS information on your UK domain name?
A few years ago (wow, thats gone fast!) Nominet, the governing body for UK domain names, brought in a new ruling that means every UK domain name must list accurate data in the WHOIS records to prove who legally owns the name etc.
This was initially hugely frustrating, as we had customer websites being suspended by Nominet because the customer had ignored the emails that were being sent out. Once we understood the reasoning behind why Nominet wanted to do this it made sense, and we’re totally behind it.
We’re often asked to get certain domain names for clients, as many are not on the open market and are in fact owned by a domain squatter who is sitting on the domain hoping one day someone will give them lots of money for it. The issue in the past has been that its not always clear who owns the names due to incorrect and inaccurate WHOIS data.
What is WHOIS Data?
Every single domain name that is registered, should list information against it that indicates who owns it, renewal dates, DNS information and other bits of info – all designed to prove the owner of the domain in case of legal disputes and similar situations where the domain owner needs to be reached.
What is WHOIS Privacy?
As a tax paying legitimate business, we have nothing to hide, so we do not mind our info being displayed. As an individual you are able to hide your details and there are general WHOIS Privacy services available for .COM domain names as the rules are different around the world. In the UK, though, you MUST show the correct info in your WHOIS data, if you are a business.
Why do I need to validate my Data?
Nominet realised that many people had spoofed this info and put in any old junk so they could register the name- so to resolve this they have ringfenced every domain with questionable WHOIS info and emailed them claiming they will suspend the website unless the info was added in properly.
I think the check falls around the time the name is renewed or its nearing its expiry, as we had one through for a customer recently and we’re still having an issue as their business address is a POBOX and the control panel we use doesn’t seem to like them.
When this first all happened, we did also have a customer come to us as their website was offline, and it turned out to be the fact they had ignored the emails, the timeframe had passed – and Nominet simply stopped traffic going through to the name! Crazy to think they have that kinda power, to be honest!
tl;dr – Don’t ignore emails from Nominet or from your domain provider, relating to DATA VALIDATION FAILING as your site may vanish 🙂