How to hide your identity for anonymous blogging

Well … it is hard to do anonymous blogging nowadays. There are many things that will reveal a blogger’s identity. For example, writing your own name in the blog will reveal your identity! I am just kidding.

A common one is, writing your real name during an email communication. I did that a few times — I wrote my name in some emails that I sent to a few fellow bloggers. I am not worried about that because bloggers have their codes. I know that my fellow bloggers will not reveal my name.

Not that I am a famous person hiding under the shade of Settle in El Paso; it is that I do not want my boss to know I blog during office times. Yes, I am so efficient that I can blog during my office times. Additionally, I can manage my six-figure salary job. I could say seven-figure but you won’t believe me. Humor has to be close to reality. Not that I am joking here …

Actually, I was kidding in the last paragraph. As I said earlier I am seriously introvert. This is the main reason why I prefer anonymous blogging. Sometimes we prefer anonymous blogging and at the same time we use a self-hosted blog. Do you know that a domain itself, when purchased but not protected, may reveal our identity?

The whois command

In linux command-line (on a linux or mac terminal or Cygwin with Windows command line), if you type
whois hillaryclinton.com
and hit the enter key, you will see a lot of text among which you will get the registrant of the website hillaryclinton.com. The registrant information is provided below for that website.

Domain Name: HILLARYCLINTON.COM
 ………………………
 Registrant Name: Hillary for America
 Registrant Organization: Hillary for America
 Registrant Street: PO BOX 5256
 Registrant City: NEW YORK
 Registrant State/Province: NY
 Registrant Postal Code: 10185-5256
 Registrant Country: US
 Registrant Phone: +1.16468541122
 Registrant Phone Ext:
 Registrant Fax:
 Registrant Fax Ext:
 Registrant Email: domains@hillaryclinton.com

Notice that the organization Hillary for America is the registrant of the website hillaryclinton.com.

On the same terminal, if you type whois settleinelpaso.com and hit the enter key, you will find the registrant information of our website.

Domain Name: SETTLEINELPASO.COM
 ………………………
 Registrant Name: Domain Admin, C/O ID#10760
 Registrant Organization: Privacy Protection Service INC d/b/a PrivacyProtect.org
 Registrant Street: PO Box 16
 Registrant City: Nobby Beach
 Registrant State/Province: Queensland
 Registrant Postal Code: QLD 4218
 Registrant Country: AU
 Registrant Phone: +45.36946676
 Registrant Phone Ext:
 Registrant Fax:
 Registrant Fax Ext:
 Registrant Email: contact@privacyprotect.org

That is, Privacy Protection Service INC is shown instead of us as the registrant. If we did not protect our privacy, our name and contact information that we used to purchase our domain would become visible here. Of course, we have to use a valid name or organization name to purchase a domain and there is an option to protect our privacy.

A website to find who is who

There is a website https://www.whois.com/whois/ where you can simply type a domain name, for example, settleinelpaso.com, or hillaryclinton.com, or barackobama.com and you will be able to see the name of the registrant of that websites. You can check if your domain is protected using https://www.whois.com/whois/. Your name or your organization’s name and the contact information that you used during domain purchase will be displayed here if you did not include a privacy protection plan.

The website whois.com gives the following information for settleinelpaso.com, which can also be retrieved by the whois command in a computer.

How to protect your privacy for anonymous blogging

This is the burning question of this post. If you purchase a “Domain Privacy” along with the domain name, then your name will be replaced by the company name that will protect your privacy. For example, our website’s registrant organization is Privacy Protection Service INC. If you plan on anonymous blogging and use a self-hosted site with a domain name you prefer, it is essential to purchase a domain privacy plan. Cost of domain privacy plans may vary from $10 to $20 per year. Ours is just $10 per year.

Happy blogging!

Settle in El Paso team



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Comments

59 thoughts on “How to hide your identity for anonymous blogging

  1. Very important read, thank you for sharing! I tried to type in the prompts in windows ten, but it said the whois cmd was not recognized. Thanks for including a link to that sight. I was very relieved to see my information not plastered on there.
    1. You might need Cygwin in windows to get the linux commands. Thank you for reading the post and commenting. Have a wonderful day.
    1. Haha. Thank you for the link. I have read it. It is hilarious. Thank you for visiting and commenting.
  2. Great post! I too an an introvert and that is probably part of the reason why I prefer anonymity. A big reason though is the freedom to write about things without family & friends getting upset, thinking I’m writing about them. Whether it’s positive or negative about them, or if it’s even about them. Which it very well may not be. Anyway, it’s the freedom to write what I want, how I want.
    1. Well said, it is the freedom to write part that is appealing. I am glad that you liked the post. Have a wonderful day. Happy blogging!
  3. I am an introvert (INTJ). I have never blogged anonymously. In fact, I want to be sure people know that this website really is written by me. I am more concerned that by not establishing that my website is me, that someone could register my real name as a domain.

    If you write something that offends someone or posts something that someone thinks violates their copyright, that person can legally force your ISP and registrar to reveal your name etc. In which case, your privacy is gone.

    I have a friend named is Christopher Pedrick. His website is http://www.clpphoto.com. There is another Christopher Pedrick. His website is https://chrispederick.com. Lot’s of people think the second one is my friend.

    My opinion is that if you want to remain private on the web, make all your blog posts private.

    1. Thank you for sharing your opinion. Yes, definitely anyone can purchase under another person’s name but that is illegal and a punishable crime. As you said, that would be something to worry about.

      Since you are an introvert, you know that many introverts want to speak with everyone openly but cannot make it because their inner-selves really do not blossom that way in public. That kind of people may want to keep their identities private. No harm is done here … it is not that we, introverts, are hurting others through our blogs. We just describe how to cook veggie-shrimp soup, or the appropriate amount of caffeine-consumption during pregnancy.

      I appreciate your visit and comments. Happy blogging! Have a wonderful weekend ahead.

      1. I agree that if one wants to be anonymous online one can do that (unless one is breaking the law and hiding behind anonymity).

        I also agree with Rob Alberts. If someone feels like tey has nothing to hide then … well, one has nothing to hide. Some people want anonymity and some do not. Being an introvert does not automatically mean one wants anonymity.

        Personally, I do not want to live two lives. One where I am reluctant to speak/write honestly because someone may take offence or be hurt and another where I hide behind a mask of anonymity but say what I want. To me, it does not feel authentic.

        I guess that the logical INTJ in me.

        1. Sounds great! I highly appreciate your comments. They are very informative and thoughtful. Have a wonderful evening.
  4. One more tip. If you decide to improve the security of your website and get an SSL/TLS certificate, you may need to register an email address with the cert. If that email address has a real name in it, you’ll pierce your anonymity, because anyone can view the cert details.
    1. That is a great tip. I did not know about this. Thank you for sharing this information. I will remember it if I ever plan to change to https. As I said earlier, your comments are very informative. Thanks a lot.
  5. Oh wow, I didn’t know that. Probably why I get calls from all over the world. They want to sell me stuff. Their cost. I never buy. Haha!
    But, oh my! I went to the website and my complete home address and contact details are available for all to see, with my full names! Oh well, I wasn’t hiding. Not if my website address (the self-hosted one) has my complete maiden name. Our estate is right beside the cemetery so that should be enough to scare potential criminals.
    Thanks for sharing. I will remember for next time.
    1. Haha 😂 glad to know that you liked the info in the post. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend!
    1. Glad to know that you liked the post. Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
  6. It is not that easy to hide our identity and the simple reason being Google will open up every single page that has the blog name when it is searched for. It could be on any page where the real name would be displayed.
    1. Of course, if there is a real name in any post, the name will revealed in Google search. Have a wonderful day.
      1. Not just a post. I clearly remember I had my presence in Google Earth. As you know you can on your own add those details When I received a message talking about it and telling me that they found out who I was, I quickly deleted that piece of information. I am not sure if we have a choice to tell Google to not meddle with our affairs.
        1. I see what you mean. I am not sure either about if there is a choice. I think, Google retrieves a lot of personal information from our devices. I sometimes use a different browser just for blogging. Not sure though if that is sufficient, anyway.
  7. That sort of freaks me out… I had no idea about websites like ”Whois”. I know that Google and other companies are constantly trying to invade our privacy and our life but wow, you aren’t even safe when you blog? It’s scary how much information they can found just from Googling your site. I am a beginner blogger so I am not getting a huge amount of visitors (yet) but I am really thankful for giving me the heads up!

    How expensive is this domain privacy option? I’d really love to possibly add it to my own blog to protect my information.

    1. The domain privacy option varies between $10 per year to $20 per year. Many new hosts offer $10 in the first year and $20 in the second year or so.

      We are happy to know that you found this post informative. Thank you for visiting and commenting. Have wonderful weekend.

      1. Oh, I see. That isn’t as expensive as I’ve thought… I thought that they would set some ridiculous price because people tend to value their own privacy very high. Thank you so much for the information, you got no idea how useful it is for a new blogger like me. I will definitely look into purchasing it to add the extra security layer!

        I wish you too a very wonderful weekend with your family 🙂

  8. Usually, I do not hide, in any domain, I am I have nothing to hide. Especially when I have a web site or a blog I prefer to show who I am and not to be anonymous.
    1. It is not only about hiding. Some people prefer not to put their personal phone number and home address on the internet. Domain Privacy protects those information and saves the client from unwanted calls from spammers.
  9. In this day and age, I think a certain degree of anonymity is important. So many people seem to forget this. Facebook is a huge perpetuator of people forgetting this. People log in to Facebook and write about anything and everything in their life, including the personal lives of their friends and family. So many people don’t consider how such writings may come back around someday to bite them. Many companies now check employees social media accounts and look for things that they deem to be unprofessional or unbecoming. Personal lives are no longer personal, not when you choose to post them in words or photos on public social media. You may not feel you have anything to be ashamed of, but it’s very easy for things to be taken out of context or for someone else’s perception to be different. Also, there is (as you mentioned) the fact that some people may believe that writings are about them, and then become offended. I often laugh at how many people end friendships over social media, but in the end it’s actually a rather sad thing.
  10. Sharing this with a friend,she like everything to be done anonymously. I think she will fall in love with this post.Thanks for sharing.
  11. Nice post. It’s an intelligent tip to stay an anonymous blogger or website owner to protect your identity from anyone who wants to know more about you. Thanks for the information!
  12. I always use VPN app when it comes too securing my connection. Incognito mode in browsers isn’t that reliable at all.
  13. Before, I was hesitant to use whois whenever I register a domain until I read your post. I guess it’s really necessary to have your domain secure from spamming, marketing firms and online fraudsters. Your post is very informative. Thank you and more power.
  14. Thanks adminuser! As I’ve some from your other post, I am planning to be a blogger and I am sure this one will help my privacy. There still a lot that I need to know in blogging. Thank you for sharing this! God bless!
    1. Glad to know that you are interested in blogging. Welcome to the blogging world. It is amazing and fun. I would say, it is enlightening as well. Thank you for the kind words. Have a wonderful day.
  15. Thanks for sharing this. Several years ago I found my real name and contact details showing up on Google whenever I searched my name. I submitted these details when purchasing a number of domain names for my website opting not to hide them. This was now the consequence of that, and I just had to wait for my subscription to expire.
  16. I think a lot of people don’t really think of domain privacy when they wish to blog anonymously like you. And that is exactly how they get caught out. I haven’t really bought domain privacy for my website which I am developing at the moment but I have thought of it in the past. It’s great for those who want to definitely be anonymous but of course, they have to ensure that they renew it on time.
    1. I agree with you. I wasn’t thinking of privacy as well. That’s something that crosses your mind mostly when you are a regular buyer or you are more aware of the little offers the web hosts usually suggest. Sometimes they also suggest you buy an SSL certificate together with your domain name.
  17. When I registered my domain, I also bought domain privacy. This helped me to hide my information. However, when I renewed my domain, I did not buy domain privacy. Well, I know the importance of having domain privacy, however, I was renewing a lot of domains and paying almost $2 extra for WHOIS protection was becoming a liability. Furthermore, as a professional blogger, who want to establish her brand, I did not see any point in hiding my information. However, for people who care about their identity, domain protection is must.
    1. Sometimes, people prefer not to be called or emailed by spammers. This is also one of the reasons why people may prefer privacy even if they are not anonymous on their blog.

      Thank you very much for your comment. Have a wonderful day.

  18. I think that if I have to need to go into blogging, that I am going to use anonymous blogging style. I’m such person that does not want to court much attention and that is the reason that I am happy to see that it is possible to do so. Thank you.
  19. I use to do anonymous blogging especially when commenting on high profile politicians. Opposing government policies and questioning infra structure projects. But those were the days. I just wanted to air my opinion without publicly showing my identity. I feel so free to say whatever I say and scrutinize these high profile politicians without knowing who I am. Now with the introduction of various apps and websites that exposes your identity it would be hard to exchange your safety for these unprecedented comments. I am still into blogging but more on travel, movies and a few various discussions. This way I am able to expose my identity and without fear of striking anyone.
    1. Many people who do not blog anonymously prefer to purchase a “Domain Privacy” because they do not want their home address and phone numbers to be visible. With phone numbers visible, one may start receiving calls from seller or advertisers.

      Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  20. Sorry, but I have to ask….why would anyone want to hide their identity? It’s a good post though, I might check the explained features above, not that am going to be using it..
    1. Hello! I don’t think the idea is really about hiding their identity. It’s more about protecting your identity and privacy. Our identities, if we’re not careful enough to keep it safe, can be used by other criminal figures for their own accord. There are also stalkers and mentally unstable people who could use this to track down people they are obsessing with.
  21. Wow. This is one important article you got here. Some use personal details that are put online for criminal purposes and that really scares me, so thank you for this. I tried using whois.com and saw that the websites owner’s postal code, fax number and other really personal stuff can be seen. You guys really have to be careful and keep your personal information safe and private.

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