Hiding your information in the Whois: A bad good idea!

When Scamdoc performs an analysis of a website, it relies on several technical criteria. The Whois database provides several indicators that the algorithm uses to calculate its trust score. The information regarding the site’s owner is one of the essential elements that lends credibility and therefore impacts the reliability score. Here’s an explanation…

What is the Whois database and what data does it contain?

Each website has a “digital identity card” recorded in a database called “Whois”.

This database lists information such as the domain owner’s name, contact details, the name of the registering organization, as well as the registration and expiration dates of the domain. Technical details, like information about the DNS server, are also included.

In essence, the Whois database provides a means of knowing a website’s essential details.

Owner information transparency: a credibility indicator according to Scamdoc

In the same way as the information a publisher displays on its website, the more complete and consistent the Whois information concerning the owner, the more it is a sign of credibility and reliability according to Scamdoc.

On the contrary, the less information displayed, the more you should doubt the intentions of the concerned website!

Indeed, risky or fraudulent sites tend to hide their information in the Whois to prevent aggrieved users or authorities from tracing back to the owner(s).

What are the limitations of this data?

For several years, the GDPR and other international data protection laws have encouraged the masking of information in the Whois. In fact, it’s often a default option when reserving a domain name.

You then regularly find data masked similarly to this example:

Nevertheless, domain name owners still have the option to force the display of their information if they wish.

What is the impact of this criterion on Scamdoc?

As soon as the system detects that identification information is hidden in the Whois, Scamdoc automatically applies a reduction in the trust score and makes the information available to users. The weight of this criterion is assessed based on all other available information.