Even if you have the most advanced website on the fastest server on earth, it doesn’t matter if you suddenly lose your domain. Without your domain, you can’t even post your phone number—at least not where people can find it right away.
Over time, a business will become more and more intertwined with the domain used to identify it online. The address will probably get used in numerous places, including print and a slew of inbound links. This is why losing your domain name could be disastrous for your company and SEO. In this article, we will explain how you can lose your domain name and how to prevent that from happening.
How You Can Lose Your Domain Name
One way that people lose domain names is through domain theft. Unfortunately, it occurs far more frequently than you might think and is rarely if ever, reported in the press. Indeed, domain name registrars usually do not want anyone to know if a domain name was stolen. There are several ways in which this can happen.
- Social engineering is when the thief social engineers the customer service department of the domain name registrar. By talking to multiple customer service representatives, the thief gains a piece of information from each of them. Then, they use that information collectively to gain access to the account and change ownership of the domain name.
- Hackers can gain access to the registrar account and change domain ownership details.
- The thief uses WHOIS records to search for email addresses with expired domain names. Let’s say they want to steal DomainA. They notice that the owner’s email address is [email protected] and that domainB.com has expired. They then purchase domainB.com and set up [email protected] as their email address. After this, they attempt to get ahold of DomainA using the “forgot password” function at the domain name registrar.
How to Prevent Your Domain Name from Being Stolen
Make sure you follow these precautions to prevent this disaster:
- Don’t let your domain name expire. Register your domain name for as long as possible. Maintain a valid credit card on file with your registrar and turn on the Auto Renew feature.
- Ensure that the email address used for domain renewal notifications is active and accessible to you. The notification email address should not be the same as the domain because if the domain is lost, the email address will most likely stop working.
- Your domain’s contact information is public by law. One of the first things a domain thief will do is find the contact email address and hack it. This problem can be solved by using a service that hides your information with an intermediary company while forwarding all contact requests to you. Most reputable domain sellers offer domain protection services for additional charges. There are independent companies that offer domain protection as well.
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