February 19, 2004 – A new online survey of Internet users released by the Network Solutions privacy forum, www.internetprivacyadvocate.org , reveals that 70 percent of respondents said they have provided false data about their identity because of concerns about their personal information becoming public.

In addition, according to research conducted by Modem Media, a leading interactive marketing firm, privacy issues were noted as the top three concerns of Internet users, and more than two-thirds of Internet users cited privacy as being the key basis for deciding whether to use a particular Internet site. Recent Federal Trade Commission data indicates that these fears are reasonable, noting that 23.7 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the last five years, including almost 10 million people in the last year alone. 1

In its continuous effort to address consumer demand for greater privacy online, Network Solutions has introduced Private Registration, a new service that will enable individuals and small business owners to protect personal information when they register a domain name.

Private Registration allows customers to confidently provide accurate contact information, while keeping their personal information secure from public view. With Private Registration, individuals will be able to receive important communications regarding their domains without making their primary personal address, phone number, and e-mail address available to the public. Private Registration is available for an introductory price of $5.00 a year, making it one of the lowest-cost privacy protection services available.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is responsible for managing and coordinating the domain name system and for accrediting domain name registrars. ICAAN requires that personal information of domain name holders be accurate and available for anyone to view on the publicly accessible WHOIS database, making it easy for spammers, telemarketers, stalkers and those trafficking in identity theft to access personal information. ICANN also requires that some of this data be made available "in bulk" to anyone willing to pay a nominal fee.

Network Solutions has been an outspoken advocate for the privacy of individuals who register domain names, as well as a vocal opponent to ICANN's requirement to allow bulk access to WHOIS information. In 2003, the company launched a consumer information Web site called www.internetprivacyadvocate.org , which is devoted to Internet privacy issues.

"We are strongly committed to making our customers feel secure in providing personal information when registering domain names and invite ICANN to support our fight against spammers, fraudsters, identity thieves and predators," said Champ Mitchell, Chairman and CEO of Network Solutions. "The addition of Private Registration to our existing efforts of protecting customer data against abuse is another step in the fight to protect personal privacy."

Network Solutions further protects WHOIS data by limiting access to entities that may be using automated means to "mine" the database. Its aggressive anti-spam initiatives have reduced spam for its e-mail customers by more than 82 percent, and in 2003, the company introduced the industry's only online account management tools that allow individuals and businesses to revoke and assign passwords to their accounts. This system provides an unprecedented level of security and control for those who rely on employees or design consultants to manage their Web sites.

"Internet privacy and security are an increasingly serious concern for most users," says Avivah Litan, vice president and research director, Gartner Financial Services. "Consumers will be looking for companies that make them feel safe and comfortable about their Internet experience."

1 Federal Trade Commission Identity Theft Survey (September 2003)

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