How to Protect Yourself from Domain Hijacking by James Koole

The Tucows Blog has a posting relating to a story we previously reported over the Christmas/new year period when David Airey had his domain name, davidairey.com, stolen. To recap, “a domain thief gained access to a domain holder’s email account (in this case, a Google GMail account) and then used that account to gain control of the domain name and transfer it to himself.”The rightful owner now has his domain name back following intervention from Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons. (Click here for my story on this on December 30)James Koole writes that at Tucows they are actively engaged in the battle against online fraud including domain name theft, phishing, and spam. When domain name thefts are reported to Tucows, their Compliance Team acts accordingly to assist with retrieval of domains where possible.James has some tips he gleaned from Paul Karkas, Compliance Manager at Tucows. These tips should help avoid domain name theft and they are tips they suggest all domain owners and resellers learn.The tips are:

  1. use WHOIS Privacy
  2. if you can avoid it, don’t use free, web-based email addresses for your administrative contact
  3. your domain name is worth more to you than you might think
  4. choose your Registrar wisely.

And if you do one thing today, they suggest activating WHOIS privacy on your domains. At Tucows, they say they recognise the value of WHOIS Privacy, and include it free with every domain name sold.To read the full blog posting, along with more detail on the tips, see about.tucows.com/2008/01/02/how-to-protect-yourself-from-domain-hijacking/.Further to this posting, there is also a posting from Bill Sweetman, General Manager, Domain Portfolio at Tucows, who has a new year’s resolution for domain name holders to not lose your domain name. Bill suggests in this posting on the Canadian Marketing Blog to:
Take 30 seconds, RIGHT NOW, to find out when your domain name is going to expire. (Do a WHOIS query at whois.tucows.com, then check to see what expiration/renewal date is listed.) Make note of this date.Now, take another 30 seconds to write a reminder to yourself to renew the domain name a few weeks before it expires. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do this. Use Outlook or whatever calendaring system you use. Just make sure you set a reminder!Finally, when you get your reminder to renew your domain name, RENEW your darn domain name! In most cases this takes less than two minutes, and you can do it online via the company your registered the domain name with.As Bill concludes, that isn’t too difficult! Especially compared to how difficult “losing” your domain name would be…The full article is available from the Canadian Marketing Blog at canadianmarketingblog.com/archives/2008/01/a_new_years_resolution_thats_e_1.html

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