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Step 2: Register a Domain Name

How and why you should register your own domain name ...

To create your new spam free address, you will first need to register your own personal domain name. This is easy to do and with most registration companies it will usually cost around $8 per year for a .com domain.

If you already own a domain name, please don't skip this page - there is some valuable information for you too, concerning the whois records and what you need to do to avoid spam.

What is a Domain Name?

The reason that most people register a domain name is so that they can create a website with a unique name of their own choice. For example, if your name is John Smith, you may like to register something like www.johnsmith.com - which is much better than a free website address like www.johnsmith.geocities.com.

Naturally, the name you wish to register may already be taken, so you may have to try a few alternatives.

Private Email

You can also use a domain name simply to create private email addresses for yourself - this is the most useful aspect of domain names as far as the Spam Plan is concerned! For example, if you register the domain name www.johnsmith.com, you can create the email address john@johnsmith.com - or any other name at that domain - this procedure is called 'creating email aliases'.

Although most users of the Spam Plan will be using their domain names just for the private email addresses - it is useful to know that if you create a website in the future, you will have a private name for it.

Unlimited Aliases

The Spam Plan is most effective if you can create an unlimited number of email aliases. This will be explained fully in step 3. If you have no plans to create a website and only want your domain for email, then you should choose a domain registration company that allows you to create an unlimited number of email aliases.

Alternatively, if you plan to create a website, the number of aliases you are allowed will be determined by the company that hosts your site, so don't worry about any limit the registration company sets.

Creating Aliases

The domain registration company or hosting company provide users with a control panel for administration of their account. Creating an alias simply involves logging in to this control panel, clicking a couple of buttons and typing in your new name.

How To Register

There are many different registration companies - simply do a search for 'domain name registration' and you will find loads. My own personal choice is godaddy.com - they are very reliable and extremely cheap. They do set a limit of 100 aliases, but my website hosting is unlimited, so it's not an issue for me.

Whois Records

At this point, I need to warn you that when you register a domain, you will be asked to give an email address for your domains 'administrative' and 'technical' contacts. Any address you give here will certainly be spammed, because the whois records are publicly available by law - but there is no need to worry, there are three very easy solutions to this problem.

Solution 1

The first solution is to take out a private domain registration - this is exactly the same as a normal registration, but it hides your whois records from public scrutiny.

A private registration has the advantage of total privacy - it also keeps your name, postal address and telephone number private - which may or may not be an important issue for you. A private registration currently costs $9 per year at godaddy.com, which is payable in addition to the normal registration fee.

Solution 2

The second solution is use a normal alias address in the whois record - something like whois@yourdomain.com - even though you know it will eventually be harvested and start receiving spam. It can sometimes take 6 months to a year before any address you publish in the whois record starts to receive spam, and when that happens you can simply delete that alias and create a new one to replace it - whois2@yourdomain.com for example. Of course, you must also update your domains whois record with the new address.

This solution is my personal approach to the problem as it is completely free - and it also has the added advantage that you eliminate the small risk of not receiving legitimate emails sent to your whois address (from I.C.A.N.N for example) which you get with my third solution below.

Solution 3

The third solution is also simple and completely free - you just create a free web based email account at somewhere like hotmail.com and use that address for your whois records. If you are not concerned with total privacy and simply want to stop your inbox from being filled with junk mail, this option will work perfectly well for you.

However, to be on the safe side, you should check the account once in a while, just in case you have received a genuine email - but I wouldn't worry too much about it, 99.99% of email sent to the address published in your whois record is spam - in fact, I have never received a legitimate email sent to this address in all the years I have been online

One other slight problem with this third solution is that it creates a security issue regarding the ownership of your domain name - if you, as the registered owner, use a hotmail address in your domain registration, then it is advisable to make sure that you never let that hotmail user account expire. If you do, someone else could register that user name and potentially pose as the registered owner of your domain, if you had left that email address in your whois record.

So all things considered, I would advise people to choose either solution 1 or solution 2 as the best way to control whois spam.

Go to Step 3 of the Spam Plan