Especially now that the coveted .com and .net domain names are dwindling, URL addresses are hot real estate. If you have one or more domain names that are associated with your business, you want to ensure nothing happens and no one snatches them from you. You may initially wonder how this can happen, simple bookkeeping mistakes or a little naivete can put you at risk of having someone hijack your domain name right from under your nose.
- Don’t Accidentally Let It Expire: Many domain registrars don’t send physical letters anymore to warn you when your domain rights will soon expire. Email notifications are instead the norm, and these can get lost in the shuffle of your electronic communications or accidentally sent into your Spam folder. Also, if your email contact information has changed since you first registered, there’s no way to tell you your domain will expire. If that happens, there is nothing to stop someone else from purchasing it.
- Keep Contact Information Visible and Up-to-Date: Domain name hijackers sometimes send transfer requests to registrars and essentially steal your URL. Unfortunately, it is difficult and costly to correct such situations. The best way to prevent this from happening is to keep your contact information up-to-date and highly visible on your website to send up a red flag to your registrar if a transfer request comes through with contact information that doesn’t match.
- Put a Registrar Lock on Your Domain: The most effective way to protect your domain name is to put a registrar lock on it. What this does is bar third parties from modifying, transferring, or deleting your domain name. If your current registrar does not offer this service, you might consider switching to one that does, bearing in mind that it also makes it more difficult to swap registrars in the future.