There are several common mistakes that can cause a domain name to expire, be hijacked or even deleted. Being aware of these mistakes and taking the proper precautions can greatly increase the security of your domains and help ensure they stay in safely in your possession. Most importantly, keep your domain information up to date and consider consolidating your domains with just one or two registrars that provide all the tools you need to securely manage and protect your internet real estate. Listed below are four simple steps you can take to protect your domain against cyber attackers and keep your online assets secure.
1. Enable Domain Privacy – ICANN requires that your email address, mailing address, and phone number be made publicly available anytime you register a new domain. That means your personal (or business) information is available for anyone to see – including spammers, scammers and potential domain hijackers. They can all see this information by doing one quick and simple Whois lookup. Domain privacy enables you to prevent your contact information from being made public by replacing your information with the registrars. This is beneficial to the registrant because domain name thieves will use that information and attempt to have your domain name transferred to a new owner, or use that contact information to try and fool you into revealing your registrar account password. Domain privacy also protects your email account from spammers and scammers who do whois lookups to build their email lists. Many registrars (such as NameSilo and Internet.bs) offer free whois privacy.
2. Turn On Registrar Lock – When comparing different domain registrars, be sure to choose one that implements a service called Registrar Lock (some may also call it Account Lock). This option is available at almost all large registrars (such as GoDaddy or DynaDot), but may not be available if you register domains at smaller “mom and pop” registrars. The feature can help prevent your domain from being accidentally (or illegally) transferred without your permission. In fact, it’s so powerful at preventing theft, several registrars even turn on it automatically when you register a new domain with them. To put it simply, Registrar Lock helps prevent someone from transferring, modifying or deleting your domain and provides an extra layer of protection to prevent domain hijacking.
3. Be Suspicious Of Domain-Related Emails – Never reply or click on any links in a domain-related email that you were not expecting or are not familiar with. Emails can carry “weaponised” links which domain hijackers will use to redirect you to a replicated version of your domain registrars website. You will probably be asked to Login and that’s where your details will be captured. If you ever see an email asking you to login to your account and administer your domains by clicking a link inside the email, it could potentially be a hijacking attempt. If you’re ever in doubt, manually enter the address of your registrar into your web browser before logging in or contact your registrar to verify the suspicious email.
4. Update Your Spam Filter’s Approved Sender List – As you already know, renewing a domain name is vital to keeping your website alive. Although most registrars begin sending you renewal reminders several months in advance, depending on your spam block settings – you may or may not be receiving these reminder emails. If not, you are running the risk of loosing a domain because you forgot to renew it. This can be easily prevented by adding your registrar to the list of approved senders within your email provider. This will automatically ensure that all your renewal notices and important account emails make it to your inbox without hesitation.