When you register a domain, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) requires publication of your name, company name, address, phone and other information in what’s called the WHOIS database. This large directory, which contains all of this information for every domain and its registrant, is free and open to the public. Enter any domain in the search box to find out who owns it.
The WHOIS database can tell you if a domain you're interested in is available. If it already belongs to someone, you can use the information provided in the database to contact them to discuss a purchase. If you own a domain yourself, be sure to let your registrar know of any changes in your contact information. Not only is this important in case someone wants to make an offer on your domain name, it’s also required by ICANN.
And while it’s true that scammers search WHOIS for information to use in spamming, website hacking and identity theft, ICANN has policies to help reduce spam. Plus, your registrar may have individual domain protection options that would hide your information.
The data contained in the Registrar's WHOIS database, while believed by the company to be reliable, is provided “as is” with no guarantee or warranties regarding its accuracy. This information is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you in obtaining information about domain name registration records. Any use of this data for any other purpose is expressly forbidden without the prior written permission of the Registrar. By submitting an inquiry, you agree to these terms of usage and limitations of warranty. In particular, you agree not to use this data to allow, enable, or otherwise make possible, dissemination or collection of this data, in part or in its entirety, for any purpose, such as the transmission of unsolicited advertising and solicitations of any kind, including spam. You further agree not to use this data to enable high volume, automated or robotic electronic processes designed to collect or compile this data for any purpose, including mining this data for your own personal or commercial purposes.