While it is important to register a good domain name, securing that domain name is equally important. Just imagine that one fine morning; the number of visitors to your website has suddenly dropped to zero. If you own an eCommerce website, you might be making online sales worth of hundreds of dollars but if the domain name privacy is not taken care of, your business will get negatively affected to a great extent.
Any person who is able to get access to your account through your domain name registrar can hijack your domain name thereby diverting your site visitors to his / her own website. This person will also get access to your emails. If the hacker managed to steal your domain name by getting it transferred in his / her name, with a new registrar then you will have to go through a long and expensive legal battle to get the domain name back.
It is clear that loosing the domain name can be a disaster. Here are 7 important tips to secure your domain name:
Renew Your Domain Name Regularly
The simplest way to lose a domain name is failing to renew it at the right time. It is important to setup a renewal process, this can be as easy as scheduling a recurring renewal reminder present in your desktop calendaring program. This reminder will warn you well in advance about the renewal of your domain name. Many registrars now enable the website owners to synchronize the domains so that the date of their expiration is the same, this makes it extremely easy to manage more than one domain names.
Generally you can renew the domain names for one, two or five years, but be careful in terms of selecting any time span that is beyond one year. Renewing the domain name is something that might slip your mind if you don’t have to do it regularly. You can also opt for having your domain names renewed automatically; however, as a result of this you might lose track of your domain names and their expiration dates.
Verify The Contact Details Held By Your Domain Name Registrar
Your domain name registrar must send a reminder email before the renewal due date of your domain name. The registrar can also contact you in case of any payment issues or if someone has requested to transfer your domain name. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the current contact details that the domain registrar has are up to date. It is crucial to make sure that the contact details are updated in case if the person who is responsible for managing the domain names in your organization leaves. It is also a sensible way to white list he address of your domain registrar in the spam filters in order to ensure that you receive every email sent by the domain registrar.
Secure Your Account
Any person who had the access your account on the domain registrar’s website also has the capacity to hijack your domain name or transfer it to a new owner. Therefore, it is important to keep your account secure. This means that you must ensure that your account is protected with a long and strong password that is hard to guess for the hacker. You should also enable additional authentication methods like the two-factor authenticating process by utilizing a security token or a one-time pass code sent by an SMS to a mobile device (if this option is offered by your registrar). It is also important to check that the account password has changed if the person who is responsible for managing your domain name leaves your company.
Use Registrar Lock
Most of the registrars provide with a service called ‘Registrar Lock’, at times this is also known as ‘domain lock’ or ‘transfer lock’. This lock helps in preventing your domain from getting accidentally or illegally transferred without your consent. When the domain is ‘locked’ the transfer process can only take place when you log in to the account and unlock the domain. It is obvious here that the registrar lock will not protect your domain name from someone who has the access to your account. However, this system will prevent someone from trying to transfer the domain by impersonating you through calls or emails.
Choose Domain Privacy
Domain privacy is a service that is offered free of cost by many registrars or they might imply a small monthly charge for this. It is crucial to have domain name privacy. Through this option, you can prevent your name, address and contact information from being freely available in public. The domain name thieves might use this information for transferring your domain name to some other user or for contacting you and revealing your password for fooling you. This is one of the important things you should know before registering a domain name.
Use EPP (Extensive Provisioning Protocol)
EPP offers another layer of protection for your domain names. If this service is supported by your domain name registrar, it will enable you to select a unique Authorization Information Code (AIC) for every domain you have. In case you change the web hosting account or the domain name registrar, this AIC has to be given to the new service provider before initiating the process of domain name transfer.
Use Permanent Email Addresses
When you mention your contact email address, make sure that you are not using one from a free service that might get expired in case you don’t renew it. In case that happens, a person can use this information to impersonate you in correspondence with your domain name registrar. You can also use the ‘forgot password’ feature provided by the registrar for having the password emailed to you.
You can get a lot of benefit just with a little precaution. Maintaining the domain name security is as important as maintaining the security of your hosting account.