20 Advices to Secure your Domain Name - Cybersquatting Guide (5/5)
This is the last part of our Cybersquatting Guide in which you will read some very useful advices about securing your domain name and avoid the nightmare of seeing your domain name stolen one day. We strongly advise you to also read the previous parts of our guide:
- Top 5 Domain Name Scams - Cybersquatting Guide (1/5)
- ICANN Procedure - Cybersquatting Guide (2/5)
- How to Negotiate your Domain Name - Cybersquatting Guide (3/5)
The best way to protect your domain name from cybersquatting is to be very careful from the day you are registering your domain name. Your domain name is your first and most important digital asset and as a consequence you should be very precautious about the registration process.
Secure your Domain Name:
- Carefully select the right accredited registrar and take care of the registration by yourself.
- DO NOT let a third party agent handle it for you even for free. Your domain name is your first and most valuable digital asset; it is not worthy to take any risk with it.
- Register all your websites from the same trusted registrar company accredited from ICANN or the sub branch of ICANN operating in your country. This will help you to not forget to register one domain name bought months ago.
- If you are not sure about a registrar company but they have some nice offers, don’t hesitate to search on the popular domain name forums (namepros.com, domainstate.com, and dnforum.com) to see if they are trustable
- Use as soon as possible the DOMAIN LOCK option if your registrar offers it. If they do not offer this, do not buy your domain name from them and look for a registrar which has it.
- Keep your own WHOIS information always up to date; be particularly careful with your email address as it can lead to a thief taking control of your domain. An invalid address or phone number can be reported by anyone to ICANN and your registrar which may cancel your domain registration.
- Some registrars hide a fee in their "Terms and Conditions", which allows them to charge you if you want to transfer your domain names to a new registrar. Avoid registrars with any transfer fees. Also you must be able to make changes to your personal information whenever you want
- Be particularly careful with offers from hosting companies that offer special package with a free domain name included. You never know what the conditions behind this are.
- If your website is managed by an independent webmaster, be sure that even if he has registered the domain name for you then he gives you the account login & password.
- When you notice the expiration date is getting closer DO NOT wait just because you think you still have time. The next time you notice something about your domain name it may be the email sent by the speculator.
- Setup a remember option or a warning message in the settings of the registrar administration desk so that you will receive a message few weeks before your domain expires.
- Renew your domain name for a period of at least two years, five years is even better.
- You should purchase several domain name extension such as .biz, .net in order to protect your domain name so if someone uses the wrong extension, they will still find your company and it will prevent people from registering similar domain name.
- If a registrar is offering you a discount in the case of a multiple year registration, be sure then the job is done. Most of the time the registrar will only book your domain name for one year, keep your money in their bank account and only pay the next year one week before the expiration date. This is a risky situation as: they may forget to renew your domain name and if the company goes bankruptcy you will lose your money for the upcoming years and your domain name.
- When you register a domain name a ‘Whois’ record is created which contains all your personal information: address, phone number, email address,… check that the registrar did its job by writing down your personal information.
- Always use the “Privacy Option” if the registrar offers it, this will protect your personal information to be seen if someone is doing a “WHOIS” on your domain name. This will stop possible spammer to find your email address then send you junk email and this will also stops speculator trying to steal your domain name and identity…
- But be careful, as registrars may use their Privacy Service to steal your domain as they will change the official record with their own details which is then submitted to the global WHOIS database. This operation makes the registrar the owner of YOUR domain name.
- Register the domain name in the correct global or country level domain. For a global audience use a .com, .org, or .net domain. In the case you are only focusing on your regional market then use the regional sub domain, such as .co.uk, … Some search engines will only consider country-specific domains if the request is made with a local tag.
- Buy several domain names with a close typography to your main domain, so you won’t lose any traffic if a competitor or a scammer wants to buy a domain name close to your original one.
- And last but not least, choose a relevant domain name to your industry or brand’s name in regard with the SEO requirements.
We hope you have enjoyed reading and learning some advices about the cybersquatting environment and the different ways to defend yourself and your domain name against cybersquatters. If you still have some questions or remarks, you are much welcomed to let us know in the comments.