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Square Online Domains and ICANN’s WHOIS Database

Registering and managing domains is an important part of managing a website. Here, you’ll learn more about what ICANN is, and what ICANN has to do with you and your domain. You’ll also learn about the WHOIS database and its lookup tool, and their relationship with you and your contact information.

Learn more about getting started with domains for Square Online.

ICANN

ICANN is the international, non-profit organisation that oversees the registration of all domain names globally. Whenever you register a domain with your contact information, it is registered online on ICANN's public database known as WHOIS. You can learn more about the domain lifecycle and RGP, and about the WHOIS database and how it relates to your personal information, on the ICANN website.

If you need additional support from ICANN directly, please visit ICANN’s Global Support Centres.

WHOIS Registry

According to ICANN, all domains registered on the web must have current contact information from the person or entity that registered that domain. This information is then stored and displayed in the public WHOIS database. Although contact information is required, it is not required to be public.

Manage Your WHOIS Contact Information

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To manage your Square Online domain’s WHOIS registrant contact information:

  1. In your Square Online Overview page, go to Website > Domains.

  2. Under the domain you want to work with, select Manage > Manage domain.

  3. Under ‘Contact information’, select Edit contact information.

  4. In the pop-up window, tick the Use for all contact types option if you want contact information to be the same for your registrant, administrative and technical contacts. If they should all be different, untick this option and switch between the Registrant, Administrative and Technical tabs. Edit the contact information as necessary.

  5. Select Save when finished.

The 3 available options for contact information are defined as follows (which will be the same in most cases, especially for small businesses and organisations):

  • Registrant: The person or entity that holds the rights to the domain.

  • Administrative: The person or entity responsible for administrative decisions about the domain such as billing, expiry and transfers.

  • Technical: The person or entity responsible for technical changes to the domain such as managing DNS records and nameservers.

Note: Making any changes to your registrant contact information (name, address, email, phone number) will result in a 60-day registrar lock, during which you’ll be unable to transfer your domain. If you wish to transfer your domain right away, do not update your registrant contact information.

See WHOIS Contact Information

To see your or anyone’s public WHOIS contact information, you can use the WHOIS lookup tool. If the contact information is hidden, the search result will show the contact information is either hidden/redacted, belongs to the domain’s registrar or belongs to some other public entity.

Hide WHOIS Contact Information with Privacy Protection

Privacy Protection hides the registrant contact information for your domain to help bring you some peace of mind.

By default, all the required information you register your domain with (name, address, email, phone number) is registered publicly on the ICANN WHOIS database, which means anyone can look this up regardless of your website being published or not.

Spammers, scammers and telemarketers often go through the WHOIS database to collect personal information to use as they see fit. With Privacy Protection, we submit our information to the WHOIS database in place of yours. We then filter out any spam contacts and forward legitimate ones to you privately.

To clarify, you maintain 100% ownership of your domain with this service. It also doesn’t prevent anyone from accessing your site – it simply secures your personal information. Additionally, having this service does not have an extra cost. Privacy Protection is included with all domains registered and hosted at Square through Square Online.

If the domain is hosted by a third party, you’ll need to ask your domain host about adding Privacy Protection to it. If they charge for this service, as an alternative, you can update the administrative contact information for your domain using contact information that’s already public (e.g. business information).

WHOIS Contact Information Verification Email

If you register a domain name with Square, transfer your domain to Square, or make changes to a domain’s contact information, you may receive an email asking you to confirm your contact information by clicking a link. Since ICANN requires domain registrars to ensure the accuracy of WHOIS contact information for all domains, this verification email is part of that process. Be sure to act promptly in order to avoid having your domain name suspended.

If your domain has been suspended due to lack of verification, your website (and any associated services like email) will stop working. You’ll need to log in to your Square account and go to your Square Online Overview page to use the link you see to re-send the verification email. Then, be sure to follow the instructions in that email to un-suspend your domain and get your website back online.

You’ll also get a verification email annually from Square’s registrar Register.com to confirm this contact information is accurate. These emails typically require no action if the contact information doesn’t need to be updated.

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