I have a domain with my real name, address and contact info on the whois record. I am considering purchasing a privacy service to hide these details. Will that actually help, given that my record is already "out there", with many whois-history search services claiming to offer access to previous whois records?
Over a period of 2 years I received some spam mails (less than ten), having my contact info public. But my website was just a personal one (about my hobbies and such). If your website is a commercial one, I would recommend to hide your details.
And it would surely make it harder for people to find out your details, even if the details were public for a short while.
I'd strongly recommend it.
I periodically receive phishing e-mails for domains I have with open WHOIS records about domain renewals. If you read the text closer - it's actually for an SEO Service offer that's expiring for the domain, and not the domain renewal (as the subject and front text indicates).
Frankly, I'll never fall for it, nor likely would many others, but it's a pain and could cause issues in a corporate setting depending on who would receive these. For this reason, if no other, I would strongly recommend masking your whois information so e-mails of this nature can't be "tailored" to trick internal staff.