8 min read
Last Updated on July 25, 2022 by Ibe Princewill
Today we’re going to learn about How to Not Lose Your Domain.
Every year millions of domain names expire and in too many cases, it happens unintentionally.
The owner will miss the renewal notices and they do not realize that they are in the process of losing their prized domain until it’s too late and it’s actually a lot more common than you think.
In fact, in 2015, Google accidentally sold its domain name for $12.
After realizing the mistake they canceled the order but they still ended up paying $12,000 to get it back.
We’ve got 8 ways on how to keep your domain name safe and sound and that starts off with:
Registering Your Domain Name
You wouldn’t let someone else register their license plate for your car, put their name on your house document, or be a co-signer on your personal bank account.
The same logic applies to your domain name.
In all actuality, the domain name belongs to whoever is identified as the organizational contact.
Keep your contact information up to date because it will be used for any modifications to a domain, such as renewal or transfer.
Although domain theft is uncommon, I always emphasize that it is better to be safe than sorry.
It’s more common that most company employee sets up their domain and email and then leaves the company without leaving access to the domain account, and when it comes time to renew it or make a change to the website.
The company starts looking for the employee or loses such domain to a domain flipper.
You can still give a trusted employee or an IT person access to the domain without giving them access to your actual registrar account.
And in that way, for example, your technical people can access your domain or hosting to work on your website without having the ability to remove those products from your account.
Additionally, it is a good idea to choose a strong password on your registrar account—one that is very hard to guess or hack—to protect your account and you shouldn’t share it with anyone, of course.
This goes for the email used to register the domain names as well. If someone is able to get into your email account, then they can have access to all your valuable registrar account where your domain resides.
Make use of a password manager to simplify your life. Sometimes even with strong passwords, online hackers may still sneak in using a complex approach like malware or phishing.
Therefore, if your registrar offers two-factor authentication, it is advised to turn it on for an additional degree of protection.
It is highly recommended to set your domain on auto-renewal.
The problem with manual renewal is that no matter how many email notifications your registrar sends, you may forget to renew your domains because of some busy schedules.
It’s just a fact of life, you guys.
You might have a question like “what happens if you let your domain name expire?”
Sometimes people are tempted to allow the domain to expire because they think they’ll just be able to re-register their domain again later on.
For starters, it doesn’t work like that and there’s actually a domain lifecycle that registrars have to follow.
Once the domain name expires, it goes into an expiration process and that can take 70 to 80 days to play out before their domain finally drops and when it does, then if the domain has any marginal value whatsoever, it will be snagged by some drop catchers within milliseconds.
My piece of advice here is to renew your domains several years in advance.
With such action put in place, you’ll have the peace of mind of not having to think about renewal for a long time.
Even if you transfer your domain name to another registrar later, the registration time paid is not lost; it just carries over to that new place.
Protect Yourself from Cybersquatting
Cybersquatting is the act of registering or using a similar domain name of another person with the intent to profit from the traffic that the domain name generates.
There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself from cybersquatting. First, make sure that the domain name that you are registering is not already in use.
If the domain name is already in use, the cybersquatter may be able to purchase the name from the original owner for a lower price and then register it with the intent of profiting from the traffic that the name generates.
So what should you do? The simple answer is to buy the domain name if you have the fund.
You might also ask be thinking about how cybersquatting can be carried out, now let me explain.
If your company’s domain name is Bagseller.com, for instance, a cybersquatter may buy Bagsellers.com in the hopes that a visitor will type the URL incorrectly. (Note that the second domain name has an additional “S”).
Set Up a Trademark for Your Domain Name
You’ve spent a lot of time and energy building your business and developing your brand.
So it’s important to make sure you have the legal protections in place to prevent others from using your brand name without your permission.
One way to do this is to trademark your domain name. A trademark is a legally recognized right to exclusive use of a word, phrase, logo, or other mark.
It could be feasible to register your domain name as a trademark in your country if possible and if it describes your products or services.
By registering your domain name, you could stop other parties from using domain names that are identical to yours.
Use a Trustworthy Registrar
There are a lot of domain registrars out there, so how do you know which one to choose? Here are a few things to look for when choosing a registrar:
- Accreditation: Make sure the registrar is accredited by ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). This ensures that the registrar is reliable and trustworthy.
- Experience: Choose a registrar that has been in business for a while and has a good reputation.
- Customer service: Find a registrar that offers good customer service in case you have any problems or questions.
- Pricing: Compare the prices of different registrars to find one that fits your budget.
- Features: Some registrars offer additional features such as privacy protection and website hosting.
Decide which features are important to you and choose a registrar that offers them.
Most corporate registrars that maintain domain names expertly are used by many major businesses.
However, if you decide to use a retail registrar, make sure to pick one that is well-known, has been around for a while, responds to consumers as stated above, and may even be based in your country.
It would be unwise to register a domain name for a lesser price if you later needed assistance and were unable to acquire it, or if your registrar goes out of business.
Lock It Up
My advice, lock your domain up.
Do everything that you can to prevent unauthorized changes to your domain by putting a domain lock in place.
Yes, this exists and the process to transfer your domain from one registrar to another requires that the domain be unlocked.
So this provides a bit of extra protection should someone try to hijack your domain name.
However, this tool is available in many registrar clients’ dashboards and for certain domain and while your domain is locked, you can still update your contact info and make other changes to your domain settings.
Also, if you want to transfer your domain, you must first unlock it.
Use Domain Privacy and Protection
It is also advisable to protect your registrar account with additional security measures like our Domain Privacy and Protection.
This is an easy way to protect your personal information.
There is enough data on the WHOIS domain record for someone to be intentionally malicious.
Having your personal info available with your domain is an open invitation to salespeople, con artists, spammers, and more.
They’re especially easy to go after owners of new domain names offering SEO services, social media marketing; content optimization, and more, making you exhaust your precious disk usage resources on your hosting plan with emails of many kinds.
It is considerably more difficult for someone to try to obtain important information that might eventually assist them to hijack your account if you hide your WHOIS domain information.
But not only does it do this, domain privacy and protection also does a couple of other nice things like:
Prevent spam with a private email address and protect against accidental credit card expiration.
So it’s a great extra added value of security so you never lose your domain name.
Be Wary of Spammers
When replying to mail and emails from someone posing as the registrar of your domain name, you as a domain name owner should exercise caution.
Your company’s domain name might be its most valuable asset in the modern Internet era.
By taking these easy safeguards and being cautious when it comes to domain name-related issues, you can protect this asset from unwanted circumstances and suspicious links which serve as clickbait.
In this post, I’ve discussed some of the greatest security measures to employ to keep your domain safe.
It isn’t just your data, information, or privacy that’s at peril or danger; it’s also your customers’ information, as well as your brand’s reputation.
Hackers and fraudsters regularly steal websites’ data and domain names in order to make money.
Traffic is diverted to bogus websites, fake goods are sold on sites that seem authentic, or online users’ private information, and sometimes funds are stolen.
As a result, brands experience losses in revenue, reputation, and consumer base decrease or loss. Hopefully, you’ve learned how critical it is to keep your domain name safe and have also picked up some wonderful advice on how to do so in the future.