Protect Your Domain Name!!!
By Ray Herold
Domain names can be registered in increments of 1, 2, 5 or 10 years. The domain remains yours AS LONG AS it is reregistered prior to its expiration date. If you let the registration lapse, someone else can quickly register it and make it their own.
I have heard numerous horror stories in many of the discussion forums I frequent. People complain that someone "hijacked" the domain from them. The sad truth is, in 99% of these cases, the original owner of the domain didn't take the simple steps to protect their ownership.
When you register a domain, you provide a contact email address. Whenever there is any communication from your domain registrar it will go to this email. For instance, if someone other than you requests that the domain be transferred to a new owner or registrar, a communication is sent to the email address on file.
Even if someone hacked into your account and changed that email address, a message is still sent to the original email address of record. That email allows you to reject any account change for your domain.
I cannot stress how important it is to follow these simple procedures:
1) When you register your domain, make sure the contact email you provide is one that you use frequently. It does no good to have your registrar send you an email if you rarely access the account.
2) If you ever change your email address, log into your domain account and update the email contact information. An email from your registrar to a dead email address isn't going to help you.
3) Do not give the UserID and Password for that email account to ANYONE. Being a trusting person is not a bad thing, but when it comes to your domain use discression.
4) If you see any suspicious requests regarding your domain, contact your domain registrar IMMEDIATELY.
5) When you get an email saying your registration is approaching the renewal period, REREGISTER your domain immediately. It's amazing how many people let their domains lapse simply through procrastanation.
6) Make sure your domain lock/unlock setting is set to LOCK. No transfer can take place while it is set this way. If you aren't sure how to do this, contact your domain registrar.
7) Do not give your domain account access UserID/PW to ANYONE. That is tantamount to giving away the keys to the store.
The steps listed above will protect you in all but the rarest of cases. Don't put yourself in the position of having a thriving website, only to have someone else grab it from you.
About the Author
Ray has a 30+ career in the Computer (IT) field. He has been a Systems Analyst, DB and Network Administrator, Website Project Manager, IT Architect and Director of IT. He has owned several successful business. He is also the author of several books related to technology and business.
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