WHOIS privacy, also known as domain privacy or privacy protection, is a service offered by domain registrars to protect the personal information of domain name registrants from being publicly displayed in the WHOIS database. When you register a domain name, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires you to provide accurate contact information, including your name, address, email, and phone number. This information is stored in the WHOIS database, which is accessible to the public.
Without WHOIS privacy, spammers, hackers, and marketers can easily access your personal information, which may lead to identity theft, unsolicited marketing, or other security and privacy risks. By enabling WHOIS privacy, your personal information is replaced with the contact information of a proxy service, typically provided by your domain registrar. This way, your personal details remain hidden from the public while still complying with ICANN's regulations.
However, it's essential to note that WHOIS privacy may not be available for all domain extensions, especially some country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) which have specific rules and regulations in place.
To enable or disable WHOIS privacy for your domain name, you can typically do so through your domain registrar's control panel or by contacting their customer support. There might be an additional fee for using the WHOIS privacy service, depending on the domain registrar.