Top tips for securing your domain names

securing your domain names
image credit:cira.ca

Although often overlooked, securing domain names remains equally as important as registering them. Close your eyes for a second and travel to the unimaginable, the utterly destructible: your visitors going from hundreds to zero. To a small time business owner, this may not be termed as an end of the world disaster. To an eCommerce website owner, end of the world’ is pretty close to describing the scenario that follows.
Your losses become too unbearable when you consider losing the hundreds of dollars you make every single day, hour or minute. You can end up suffering greatly because of the lack of privacy and security.

Anyone who has access to your account can steal’ your site visitors. All they need to do is hijack your domain through the domain name registrar. An extra advantage for them is that they will get access your emails. It gets worse for you when the hacker steals your domain title and transfers it in his / her name under a new registrar.
You will have to undergo long and expensive legal battles until you get what is rightfully yours back.

Those who have lost domain names consider the loss disastrous. These 7 tips can help you secure yours:

Regular renewal of domain name

One of the easiest ways people lose their domain names is through forgetting to renew them at the right time. Setting up a renewal process is important and as easy as setting up periodical reminders on your desktop calendar. A reminder helps you by giving you a warning in advance about the renewal.
Nowadays, most registrars make it possible for site owners to synchronize their domains, making the expiry date the same. This has made it easier for one to manage more than one domain title.

Most registrars let you renew your domain title every two or five years. Others let you renew it every year. It would be highly advisable to pick a timeline as short as a year so that you don’t end up forgetting the renewal process. No need to worry if you aren’t good with keeping track. You can always have your domain names renew themselves automatically.
However, I would imagine this would make you lose track of your domain titles and their expiry dates.

Authenticate contact details held by your registrar

Your registrar must send you a reminder email about the renewal process before the actual date of renewal of your domain name. The registrar is also supposed to contact you when issues regarding payment arise or if another party wishes to transfer your domain title.
Always make sure you update your contact details so that the registrar is able to reach you. It is not only important, but necessary to do so, especially when the person responsible for managing your domain names leaves your organization. This will also help you white list your domain registrar’s addresses in the spam filters which ensures you get every email sent by the registrar.

Keep your account secure

How many people know your passwords? Any individual who is able to access your account on the registrar’s website also has the power to hijack your domain name altogether. It is for this reason that security must remain a top priority for your account. One way to secure your account would be through the use of an unhackable, unguessable password.
Additional authentication methods such as the utilization of a security token, a one-time pin sent via SMS to a mobile phone, etc. are also suitable modes of securing your account. It is also highly advisable to change your password whenever anyone else who holds passwords for your domain title leaves your company.

Registrar lock

Most registrars provide users with Registrar lock, a service also referred to as transfer lock or domain lock. True to its name, this service prevents your domain from getting any accidental or illegal transfers without your knowledge. When you use Registrar lock, the transfer process halts and can only continue once you log in to your account and unlock the domain. It is important to note that this service manages to protect your account against people who don’t have your password. It protects you from illegal transfers and unprecedented domain name hijacks.

Domain privacy is key

Some registrars charge you for domain privacy while others do not. However, one thing remains: domain privacy is key. It is a service that protects your address, contact info and any other personal info from being exposed to the public.
Hackers might use this info for transferring your domain title to another user or can contact you and get you to reveal your password through fooling you. This is one of the key elements you need to know about when it comes to domain names.

Use of Extensive Provisioning Protocol (EPP)

If you want another layer of protection, you may consider using EPP. This service enables users to select unique Authorization Information Codes (or AIC) for every domain they own. Every time you change your domain title registrar or your web hosting account, the AIC will need to be provided before initiating the name transfer process.

Use a permanent email address

There are a few things you need to check on when it comes to your email address. You should make sure you aren’t using one from a free service that is likely to expire. Some hackers can use this info to impersonate you. Your domain registrar is unlikely to detect this hoax.
Using the forgot password feature is another way to get the password emailed directly to your email account. This spells convenience to a hacker who can easily access your email account or another person who is looking to begin the transfer process.

All of these tips will help you secure your domain name. Try and invest time in protecting this important component. Your domain security is just as important as your hosting account security. The tips discussed above will help you keep an eye out for those hackers, illegal transfers and anything you need to tweak so as to achieve the best protection when it comes to domain names.

Good luck!

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