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Saying No To Domain Thieves

Wednesday, 6th, May 2020 | 0 comments

Saying No To Domain Thieves

Saying No To Domain Thieves – This article looks at the importance of keeping your coveted domain name safe.

Domain name theft is an insidious tactic used by perpetrators  to hijack your name and use it for their own purposes.

In the majority of cases it will be used to direct your hard earned traffic away from your site and to theirs. They may be a direct competitor stealing your customers, or it may just be some random site pinching your traffic!

Either way it is bad news for you as your website will become useless and a repuation ruined.

Methods Used

There are really two ways in which a domain thief can commandeer your address.

The first way is to change your DNS settings so that your traffic is simply redirected away from your site to theirs.

The other is to gain access to your registration details and change them, using their own information and name servers. They might even change the registration information completely so it looks like it is them and not you who owns the name!

Protecting Yourself

 

Keep Details of the Original Registration

When you register your domain names you will receive information of that registration. Keep this safe. Should the worst happen this will help you prove original ownership. 

Have Good Password Management

I know I’ve said this before on this page, but most of our security related support issues come down to people having weak passwords.

When it’s a business at stake you really need to consider a good password policy. This website from netwrix outlines some really good password management tips.

In most cases having a good password can prevent most issues arising.

Use the Domain Lock Tool

Your domain registrar will have made you aware of the domain lock tool. This stops anyone just modifying your DNS and name server details to point their site away from you. Hipposerve, like many providers have this switched on by default. If you want to make modifications you can lock in (with your secure password) and turn the lock off temporarily.

Use WHOIS personal data protection.

When you sign up for a domain you can opt out of having your personal data shared in the WHOIS database. Instead just the name of the registrar will be shown.
This is useful as well to avoid junk and spam. I accidentally left this switched off once, and with 15 minutes I was getting calls from all over the world from people wanting to build websites for me!

Don’t Get Caught out by Phishing Attacks

Be very wary of anyone asking for personal information relating to your website. There isn’t really a legitimate reason for this. No company needs to know anything about your website domain registration, so just be on high alert if you get any emails like this.

What if I get my domain name stolen?

Even with the best will in the world domain hijacks can still happen. The first thing is not to panic.

The first people to contact is your web host or registrar. If they are unable to help (for example if the ownership details have been changed) then you will need to contact either ICANN or Nominet (For UK based domain names) and complete their various security forms.

This is when having the original details of your registration will be useful. 

It can take time as these organisation deal with hundreds of security issues a day, but eventually you will get things back and working again.

In Summary

Having your domain stolen is much more than just an inconvenience. It can cause reputational damage to your company or brand. Taking all available steps to securing your name is important from the moment your register it.

 

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