How To Protect You Domain Name From Getting Stolen

How To Protect You Domain Name From Getting Stolen
Domain name theft is becoming more of a global issue as many domains are recently getting higher monetary values.
Some domains have increased from a few dollars to more than a million dollars and still increasing, so hackers are now more serious in getting hold o these domains.
A companies' domain name might be one of her greatest assets, because it represents the company in their absence. If a thief lays hold of it, he or she can use it to hijack contracts that were meant for the company or publish things that the company might never want to publish.
So if you have a brand, it'll be best for you to put some extra efforts into protecting your domain from these thieves as thy don't mean any good.

Can Someone Steal Your Domain Name And Why?

Yes people steal domain names for some major reasons:
- To resell them: If you have a valuable domain, maybe worth a few hundred dollars or a million dollars, hackers will try to attack you especially when the name is attractive. If your domain name is a general name, like an English word or phrase, it'll be a great choice for attackers because they can easily resell it in a domain marketplace.
- To ask for ransom: If your domain is representing your brand (or your personal name), hackers might try to get hold of it in order to request for ransoms. Depending on the value of the domain, they might ask you for an amount of money that is higher or lesser than the domain's value.
- To harm your site visitors: This time around, I don't mean a physical harm, but they might try to subtly download some harmful malware into your regular site visitors or users without their knowledge. The hackers might also redirect your visitors to a phishing website were they'll unknowingly input their data.
- To spy on you: If you receive a targeted traffic, they might want to check out what your brand is really interested in and the type of people that visit your website. In addition, they might also hijack your mail and use it for duping your business partners.
- To punish you: If you support (or fight against) a particular law, then you might also become a target. Many domain hijackers might not have any financial interest, just do things to protect their religious organizations and laws.

How To Protect Your Domain From Hackers

If you have a domain, protecting it from hackers should be one of your priorities. Some people might try to hijack the domain from your hosting company and then resell it to other brands.
Many domain registrars provide optional security measures to people to help them protect their domain names. But the domain owners due to some reasons, chose to ignore these security measures thereby increasing their risk of being victims of domain thefts.
Despite this, some domain registrars also make the work easier for domain hijackers. The hijackers might enter into the domain registrar's website, type in a password and email a good number of times and then request for a new password.
Depending on the company, they might be given an option to fill in the 'No longer have access to this email feature' and if the website's security is poor, the new log in details will be sent to the website.
This is one of the methods used by hackers but it doesn't work for big hosting companies and registrars. So it's very important for you to register your domain with a good hosting company or registrar.
Check out these four tips for protecting your domain names:

- Make use of an enterprise-class domain name registry

If you have a business that is worth millions, you shouldn't use a domain name company that targets small business and consumers. Many of them don't go extra miles towards protecting their domain names from hackers or hijackers.
Many companies ignore than fact that a domain name is worth more than just a name and prefer to use companies that offer cheap hosting or cheap domain services with lesser protection.

- Activate two-factor authentication or call-back authentication

With a two-factor authentication or call-back authentication enabled, hijacking of domains would be reduced to a great extent. This is because an extra permission would be required from the real domain owners before they can be transferred.

- Keep up-to-date with security patches

Try your best to keep yourself updated on the latest security issues and patches to so you'll know how to prevent them. Hackers keep on getting themselves updated and you as a business owner should do same, at least for the sake of your business.

- Monitor your site's traffic

As a website owner, it's your responsibility to monitor your website's traffic to know where it is coming from or going to. Sometime ago, someone decided to send bot traffic to our website without my consent and we found out immediately the traffic started rolling in. Up til now, we don't know the person but we contacted the bot traffic providers to stop the traffic from coming and I believe they did that because it soon stopped after a few thousand clicks.
As a website owner, if you notice that your website traffic is mysteriously going to a server in the Russia or Ukraine, it means something is wrong somewhere and you should act fast.

These are some of the tips for protecting your domain names, also you need to guide your domain from 'legal domain theft'.
Yes, legal domain theft simply means your domain name legally handed over to a new owner. This can only be possible if you allow it to expire or it passes the grace period after it's expiration.

What To Do If Your Domain Name Gets Stolen

If your domain name gets transferred to a new owner due to your inability to renew it on time, you might never get it back. However in some cases, the names might still be available for sales bus in a higher price.
But in a case that it gets stolen illegally, you might consider taking the following steps:
- Find out how the hackers where able to do that: Check whether they hacked into your control panel or you logged into a phishing website.
- Change your password: No matter what, change your password to a new one because they might still come for your other properties.
- Move your other domain: If you were unable to discover how they managed to steal your domain, you can consider moving the other ones if you still have other domains with the same registrar.
- Check your email: This will help you know the reason your domain was hijacked. You might receive an email requesting for a ransom or...! But if you don't receive any, don't panic, there are still more to do.
- Contact your customer care: Your customer care might be willing to help so you should contact them immediately. Every website has a contact-us page so you can get their contact number or email(s) from there.
- Spy on the domain name: Set up Google alert for your your domain name so you'll be notified anytime or anywhere it is mentioned on the web. In that case, you can contact the auction site with an evidence that it was stolen from you.

Although getting back your lost domain name might not be an easy task, you should try your best to get it back. Always remember that prevention is better than cure. In a worst case, you can read the ICAAN registrar transfer dispute policy to know more on what you can do.
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