What is WhoIs verification?
While these verification processes are referred to as WhoIs verification, the name is not really accurate. WhoIs is actually a protocol used to query databases for domain information. Anyone can preform a WhoIs lookup on any domain to collect and view any of the public information available. There are several websites or tools that you can use to preform this search.
While many registers offer products that will hide the sensitive contact information from public searches, you will be able to see some basic information, such as the expiry date, the registrar, and the domain status. While not available to the public, ICANN does require that all of the contact information is accurate and up to date. In the recent pass, a WhoIs lookup would also show all of the contact information. This is where the term WhoIs verification comes from.
An example of a WhoIs lookup using a terminal
How WhoIs verification may affect you is how ICANN ensures that your contact information is kept up to date. From time to time, your registrar will send an email to the email address on file, asking the owner to verify that the contact information is up to date. The owner will then have 14 days to confirm that they are correct, typically by clicking a link in the email.
If the domain is not verified within this time, the domain will be temporarily suspended until the information is confirmed. Depending on your current contact information, this can be an easy process, or potentially a very difficult one. This is another reason why keeping your contact information up to date is so important.
If your domain information is not up to date, mainly if your email is not active, you may not receive this verification email. You will just notice one day that your email or website is not working. Needless to say, this can be disastrous to your brand and business. And if that is not bad enough, not having the email address functioning can make getting your domain reactivated very difficult.
If your email is still active, and you find your domain suspended, you can typically check your email for the verification email and verify the contact information. Your domain will reactivate almost instantly. If you cannot find your verification email, submit a ticket to our support team and they can resend the verification.
If your email is not active, you may need to access your client area and update the contact information. Once you update the domain email address, this will trigger a new verification email. Once you receive this new verification, click the verify link to reactivate the domain.
While it may seem a good idea, you do not want to use an email account for the domain contacts that uses that domain name. For example, you should not use the email firstname.lastname@example.org for the domain example.com.
If there is a problem with the domain registration, for any reason, it will be most likely that the domain will not be functioning and by extension, neither will the emails. This will cause issues when trying to reactivate the domain.