This is two part tale. The first is an amusing story of a recruiter who way over stepped their bounds. The second is a public service announcement on how you, yes you, may be unknowingly exposing both your phone number and home address to the entire internet.

The Slimiest Recruiter

If you’ve been in the games industry for a few years and have a LinkedIn account odds are you are regularly messaged by recruiters. Recruiters are typically harmless and can safely be ignored. They send massive message blasts and hope to get a couple of bites. At least usually that how it works.

One weekday morning awhile back I missed a call. I was in a meeting and had left my phone on my desk. I went to lunch without ever noticing. By the time I got back to the office I had an e-mail from a co-worker. It turns out that that the missed call was from a recruiter. Less than two hours after their first attempt at contact they called my friend and current co-worker so he could pass a message to me[1].

Recruiters sending LinkedIn messages is harmless. Making phone calls is highly annoying and unwanted. Calling my friends and co-workers is an entirely new level of unacceptable. He couldn’t even wait two hours! It also unfortunately meant I needed to respond as I didn’t want more friends getting contacted.

Public Records

After skimming through twitter, facebook, etc I couldn’t find any place my cell number was exposed. I asked the recruiter how he got my number and was shocked at the answer – domain registration.

Run a whois lookup on domains and you may be surprised at what you find. If you have a domain of your own I recommend checking it out right now – http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp.

This may be known and obvious to you but it’s not something I ever considered when setting up my site. It costs extra to hide registration information and it’s just one of eleventy kazillion features they try to push on you[2]. It turns out this is one you probably want to pay attention to.

Conclusion

Recruiters are slimey and domain registration may expose your phone number and home address. Do a whois lookup on your site and pay a few bucks a year to register it privately.

Footnotes

[1] They had his number on record as he had spoken with their recruiters in the past.
[2] Why does it cost money? Because it makes GoDaddy and Dreamhost lots of money!