The Internet has created plenty of opportunities to launch websites and run ventures, yet achieving transparency and accountability online is more complicated than ever in today’s digital landscape. Pretty much anyone anywhere in the world can buy any domain name — leading to situations where identities get blurred and giving scammers plenty of opportunities to plan and execute multiple types of cyber attacks.
Fortunately, publicly available information such as WHOIS records includes details of domain owners and registration activities to help businesses and entrepreneurs find out who is actually on the other end of the web.
That’s a huge plus from the cybersecurity standpoint since security analysts and others involved can review a large number of entries simultaneously with bulk WHOIS lookup, instead of completing the task one by one manually.
But that’s not all. Companies can also rely on bulk WHOIS to keep track of what’s taking place in their industry and assess the potential of new business ideas alongside other unexpected use cases. We explore six of them in this post.
1. Combat Cybercrime
Companies and governmental agencies can use WHOIS records in addition to other sources of information to detect and investigate fraudulent activities. Hence, the contact details of registrants, domain name status, and registration date can tell you a lot of about how trustworthy a business is.
For instance, an organization claiming to have been operating for ten years but using a domain name registered only three weeks ago looks highly suspicious. What happened before that? Could the registrant be dishonest about its expertise and origins? Or is it perhaps a complete scam?
2. Avoid Phishing Traps
More specifically, WHOIS databases are instrumental in preventing phishing attacks, allowing you to check dubious contact details published on a website and compare them to reliable WHOIS records. Inconsistencies between names, organizational info, and locations may indicate someone trying to fool you and your staff.
If you notice something is off, try spotting other signs of fraud such as spoofed email addresses, business proposals that sound too good to be true, or urgent requests to disclose confidential data or transfer funds for a variety of reasons — i.e., completing an important project, avoiding service disruption, etc.
3. Law Enforcement
The use of WHOIS is not limited to cybersecurity. In fact, lawyers, government authorities, and judges can rely on such public records to prepare and evaluate legal cases, collecting evidence about registration and modifications to assess the domain owners’ intentions. Additionally, it can facilitate sentence execution, notably by making it easier to seize malicious domains and locate and arrest cybercriminals.
4. Create a New Brand or Product
Are you perhaps thinking about creating a new brand or line of services? Let’s say you found the perfect name for this and want to check whether a specific domain was already registered in the past. You can access WHOIS history and learn more about previous owners, thus verifying for negative or undesirable connotations that may exist. Moreover, it’s possible to carry bulk WHOIS lookup to monitor when names of interest become available for registration again.
5. Conducting Market Research
More broadly, WHOIS data may give insights to researchers studying new markets nationally and internationally. What are the most common words and syllables used by domain holders in a specific country? How does that vary across product categories and industries? Marketers can gather raw data from WHOIS databases to conduct analysis and identify relevant patterns.
6. Protect Intellectual Property and Reputation
Do you think that someone may have registered a domain name likely to confuse your customers? Bulk WHOIS allows you to check whether an individual or company is violating your exclusive rights to use a trademark and provides you with the contact details of infringers to resolve the situation ASAP.
7. Keep an Eye on the Competition
What have your competitors been up to these months? Searching for the domain names that they may have registered recently can be useful to anticipate whether they are likely to launch new products or are getting ready to enter strategic markets where you have not established a presence yet.
From stopping cyber fraud to managing IP assets to monitoring competition, bulk WHOIS enables businesses and public entities to gain transparency and stay on top of everything happening in today’s digital environment. Do you want to learn more about the use cases of our WHOIS API and WHOIS Parser System? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your inquiries and questions.