Keep Your Domain Secure

6 Mar 2017 / Aliesha Ellington

Many organisations overlook the security of their domain name when they are developing or reviewing their security policies. But losing your domain, either through poor domain management, or a domain hijacking, could wreak havoc on your business.

Losing your domain can be a horrible experience and the process of recovering it can be painfully slow and expensive. Fortunately, as a domain name holder, there are several measures you can take to protect your domain name against theft and loss.

Keep Track of Domain Renewals

The easiest way to lose a domain name is simply by failing torenew it in time. Setting up a renewal process can be as simple as scheduling a recurring renewal reminder in your desktop calendar to inform you a month before your domain is due to expire.

Some registrars allow you to synchronise domains so that they expire on the same date- making it easier to manage more than one.

Usually, you can choose to renew domain names for one, two, five, or ten years, but be careful about choosing anything longer than one year because if you don’t have to renew it regularly, it is more likely that managing the domain details will slip your mind. You may also be able to opt to have your domains renewed automatically, but this is likely to increase the risk that you lose track of your domains and their expiry dates. For more on domain names anddomain name registration click here

Keep Your Registration Records and Contact Information Accurate

Keep your domain name's contact information current. You give hijackers an edge if you fail to keep your contact information current and accurate. Inform your registrar when you change staff, offices, or the email address used in domain name transfer communications. Keep businesses and emergency contact information for your registrar accurate and available, for your incident response personnel. Make sure:

  • You enter correct and valid information in the registrant, administrative, technical, and billing contact fields.
  • The listed registrant is the exact person or entity you want to have legal rights over the domain name.
  • You have a valid business license for the listed company and a government-issued photo ID for the person listed as the registrant. That way, if you do lose access to your account or domain name, you can validate registration of the domain name in the future.

Lock Your Domain Name

Lock your domain name from your account in order to prevent unauthorised transfers to another registrar. When the domain is "locked" it can only be transferred after you log into your account and unlock it. This won't protect you from anyone who has access to your account, but it can prevent someone from trying to get the domain transferred by impersonating you on the telephone or by email.

Login Regularly

Make an effort to log into your administrative account regularly and make sure your account and domain name contacts are correct. Making it a habit to review domain details means you are less likely to forget if you have a change of staff or location. You can purchase Domain Monitoring to help you keep track of your domain name. Domain Monitoring alerts you via email whenever your domain settings are changed. Having an opportunity to react to a breach in time can make all the difference.

Opt for Domain Privacy

Domain Privacy enables you to prevent your name, address, and contact details from being made freely available in WHOIS records. Domain name thieves can use this information to impersonate you and attempt to have your domain names transferred to a new owner, or to contact you to try to fool you into revealing your account password. Most registrars offer this service for free or for a small fee.

Administrative Email Addresses

The administrative contact email address has the authority to approve a transfer of the domain name to another registrar. Do not allow the email address to become outdated or expire because this will allow someone else to sign up for the email address, providing easy access to the account and domain name. The safest thing to do would be to avoid using temporary email addresses that have to be renewed. Use a Yahoo or Google email as your administrative email and ensure that the email is secure.

Keeping your email secure is vital for keeping your domain name safe. To keep your email secure, use a strong password with a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. Also, make sure you change your password frequently.

Be a Human Firewall

Protect your customer account login, password, credit card, or shopper PIN information at all times. Do not give it to anyone, including your Webmaster. Webmasters will never require direct access to your domain name. They only need access to your hosting account login and password. Use the Account Administrator feature of your account to grant access levels to anyone who needs to manage domain names in your account.

Be Cautious of Suspicious Emails

If you receive an email that asks you to log into your account and administer your domain names, be sure to check that the link address in the URL bar is legitimate. Or access the login page directly, rather than through the email link. That's because the email could be an attack from someone trying to steal your data and the links could take you to a replica of your registrar's website where your account details can be captured.

Remember that by simply being conscious of the threat and acting accordingly, you can prevent your domain from being lost or hijacked. It could save you a lot of trouble and be worth it in the long run.

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