If you are a homeowner, your address is in the public record, so it’s not entirely possible to hide your location completely. That doesn’t mean you want to put it on blast, though. It’s worth paying $10 or so a year for privacy protection for any websites registered under your name. This stops your mailing address from showing up on the Whois Lookup tool, a public database that stores contact info for all registrants. It is trivial for someone to run a query on your site and see which address is associated with it. To set up WHOIS privacy, you’ll need to contact your name registrar. First, look up your domain name to see what information is publicized. Then, look for the referral URL to sign up for privacy protection.
If you have an email newsletter, you’re required to publish an address on the bottom of your emails under the CAN-SPAM Act. Getting a P.O. Box can be a good idea. Or use a public address that you’re already associated with, such as a work or coworking address.
Yael Grauer is a freelance tech journalist covering online privacy and surveillance for WIRED, Forbes, Slate, and other publications. Find her at http://yaelwrites.com or on Twitter @yaelwrites, and check out her free ebook on staying safer online at https://yaelwrites.com/saferonline.pdf.
Check out more digital hygiene tips:
- Removing public data
- Privacy protection on domain names
- Https everywhere
- Anonymous “Tor” cloak or VPN
- Prepare for a DDos attack
- Two-step verification
- Privacy plug-ins/cookies
- Third-party permissions
- Image “hidden pixels”
- Links and attachments
- Install patches and updates
- Use a password manager/strong password
- Strengthen security questions
- Encrypt hard drive/backup data
- Click to play
- Use end-to-end encryption