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How to Safeguard Your Domain Name Registration

account_circle Network Solutions Team
woman showing how to safeguard domain name registration

Key Takeaways

  • Securing your domain name registration doesn’t have to be difficult.
  • Doing so is essential for protecting your business and your brand.
  • It involves a few simple guidelines, such as keeping your registration private and setting up auto-renewal of your domain name.

So you’ve registered a domain name. Now that you have it set up, the last thing you want is to lose it to someone else. You may be surprised at how often this happens to individuals and businesses alike.

Fortunately, you can take a few simple steps to help keep your domain name registration up to date and under your control. But first, it’s helpful to understand how a registrant can lose a domain name registration.

There are two primary ways: domain registration hijacking and failure to renew a registration.

When fraudsters hijack a domain name registration, they usually take advantage of out-of-date account information to transfer a domain name registration to another registrar.

It’s important to pay special attention to any email from a domain name registrar, internet service provider, or web hosting provider notifying you of a change to your domain name registration account information. If you didn’t request the change, contact your domain name registrar immediately.

Please note that it’s only possible to renew a domain name at the same registrar you bought it from. Some companies may send you emails or even physical mail encouraging you to renew your domain name immediately. However, if you follow their instructions, you will actually just transfer your domain name to them.

These companies likely got your contact information from the WhoIs database. You are more vulnerable to this type of scam if you do not use a privacy service.

Take Simple Steps to Secure Your Domain Name Registration
A domain name renewal failure is often the result of incorrect account data. For example, if the email address listed on the domain name registration is out of date, renewal notices will not reach the registrant, who may not realize the domain name registration term is about to expire. To help protect your domain name registration, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Lock It Up: Most domain name registrars offer mechanisms for locking your domain name registration. When the lock is engaged, your domain name registration can’t be transferred to another registrar until the lock is removed.
  • Keep It Current: Make sure all of the contact information on your account is up to date, especially email addresses, so that domain name renewal notices and other important messages will reach you. Note that any material updates to contact info, such as your email address, may result in the domain being locked for 60 days, based on ICANN’s Transfer policy. This isn’t an issue if you plan to keep your domain name provider, but could cause a delay when switching between providers.
  • Keep It Private: Did you know that the name and contact information for each domain name registrant is listed in a public database called WHOIS? Private registration protects your privacy by replacing your personal data with alternate information in WHOIS, forwarding all non-spam correspondence received at the alternate address to you.
  • Make Renewals Automatic and Choose Longer Term Lengths: Consider automatic domain name renewal, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to renew. To minimize domain name renewals altogether, consider signing up for a multi-year domain name registration, which is available at a discount in some cases.

The Bottom Line
Make sure your domain name registration remains yours by taking advantage of domain name services like locking and automatic domain name renewal and by keeping your contact and billing information current. And don’t forget to choose private domain registration to protect your personal information in the WHOIS database.


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Images: Shutterstock