Minimizing the Probability of Having Your Domain Name Stolen

Lately, there’s been an uptick in the Amount of domain names I am not sure if it’s because of the globalpandemic and individuals are becoming more desperate for cash, or if domain thieves are using the shifting digital and techenvironment. COVID-19 is inducing more people to become online and conduct business online. But that also means that many do not fully understand how to properly protect their digital assets, like domains. This could be why we’re seeing more and more online scams, phishing, and internet theft generally.

Digital Assets

When I think of digital resources, I think of many distinct types. Then there’s online shopping websites’ logins, such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay, in which most likely you have an account where your payment data is saved. Apple Purchase and Google Pay are others, as well as your web site hosting account that handles your email (if you don’t utilize Gmail.com or Outlook.com), and, ultimately, your domain name. In case your domain goes missing, then you lose a lot: access to email, as well as your website probably will go down, where you are going to lose visibility, online sales, and clients. Online thieves are hacking websites and anywhere there is a login, because they’re trying to get to your digital resources.

Protecting Online Accounts

Many Of us are now used to safeguarding our online accounts using a unique, secure password for each login that we’ve got online. An important part of protecting digital resources, and domains, is to make sure thatyou have a secure password and two-factor authentication set up to your login in your domain registrar. In many cases, if a thief gains access to an account in a domain registrar, the results can be disastrous if you do not have extra protections in place to protect your domain name.

Hackers who access a domain registrar’s account may do a few things that would interrupt your company:

They could point the domain name to another web server, perhapstheir”copy” of your website. You’d think it’s the copy, but the copy could contain malicious code.I’ve even seen them direct online sales from a copy of your website to them so they benefit monetarily from it through identity theft or diverting funds. They might even keep your contact info about the WHOIS record so thatit seems like you still own itbut the domain may be moved into their account. When it’s out of your account and you no longer command the domain name, then they’ve stolen the domain and canresell it. Whenever they begin the transfer then they’ve tried to steal the domain name, and as soon as it’s moved then it’s regarded as stolen. They may keep the exact same name servers so that it stillpoints to your website, and therefore you don’t notice that it’s stolen.

Digital thieves know that domain name Names are valuable, since they’re digital assets that may be sold for tens of thousands, tens ofthousands, hundreds of thousands, as well as millions of dollars. Unfortunately, domain crimes generally go un-prosecuted. In many cases, the domain thieves aren’t located in precisely theexact same state as the victim. All of them have exactly the exact same thing in common: they want to benefit monetarily from slipping the domain name. Following is a fewdomain crimes that I’ve found recently:

A company’saccount in a domain registrar was hacked (using social technology). The business was involved in cryptocurrency, so gaining access to this domain name allowed for the hackers to access the organization’s crypto exchange.
The domain thief posed as a domain buyer, telling the domain owner they wanted to purchase their domain for a few thousand dollars. The buyer and seller agreed to a cost, the thief told them they could pay them through cryptocurrency. The seller moved the domain name once they had been given details of this cryptocurrency transaction. They had been scammed, and dropped the domain name.
A domain name owner who has a portfolio of domain names gets their account hacked in a domain registrar. The owner does not comprehend this, and the domains are transferred to another registrar in a different country. The gaining registrar is uncooperative (or in about the theft), and won’t return the domains.
A domain name owner has her or his account hacked in the domain registrar and domains are moved out to a different registrar. Then they sell the domains to somebody else, and the domains are moved again to a different registrar. This happens several times, with various registrars. Those who bought the domain names do not know they’re stolen, and they lose any investment they made in the domains. Sometimes it’s difficult to unravel cases like this, since there are several owners and registrars involved.

All Of these occurred in the previous two to three months. And are onlyexamples of where the domain name owner might have done something to block the domain name theft. In the instance of this domain name purchase scam, the vendor should have used a domain escrow assistance, there are several reputable escrow services, such as Epik.com’s Domain Escrow Services, as well as Escrow.com that handles domain name sales.

So just how can you minimize the danger of your domain getting stolen?

Move your domain to a secure registrar.
Setup registry lock(transfer lock) on your domain.
Assess WHOIS information regularly.
Renew the domain for many years or”eternally”.
Use additional security attributes at your registrar.
Protect your domain using a domain name warranty.

Consider Moving your domain to a secure domain name registrar. There areregistrars that have not kept up with common security practices, like allowing you to install 2-Factor Authentication on your account, Registrar Lock (which halts domain transfers), as well as preparing a PIN number on your account for customer service interactions.

Log Into your domain registrar’s account on a regular basis. I can’treally say how often you want to do this, but you should do it on a regular schedule. Log in, be sure to stillhave the domain name(s) on your account, be sure they’re on auto-renew, and nothing appears out of the ordinary.

Establish Registrar Lock or”transport lock” on your domain name. Some It’s a setting that makes sure thatthe domain cannot be moved to another registrar without having it turned off.

Assess The WHOIS information on the domain name. Check it publicly on a public WHOIS, such as in ICANN’s WHOIS, WhoQ, or in your registrar. Make sure it’s right, even the email addresses. In case the domain is using WHOIS Privacy, send an email to the obfuscated email address to make sure toget the emailaddress.

Renew your domain name for many years. For valuable domains (or ones thatyou don’t wish to lose). It’s possible to find a “eternally” domain registration in Epik.com.

Request the registrar if the account access can be restricted based on The IP address of the person logging into the account. Request the registrar if the account may be restricted from logging in by a USB Device, such as a physical Titan Security Crucial, or a Yubikey. In case you have Google Advanced Protection enabled on your Google Account, you may have two physical keys to access that Google Account (plus some innovative protection in the Google back-end). You’d then have those Advanced Protection keys fromGoogle to protect the domains on Google Domains.

Look at protecting your domain name(s) using a domain name warranty or service that protects those digital resources, such as DNProtect.com.

Some domain name registrars, especially those who take domain It’s more difficult for the fraudsters and thieves to steal domains at these registrars. Some domain name registrars don’thave 24/7 technical support, they may outsource their customer supportagents, and their domain registrarsoftware is outdated.

Domain Name Thefts Occurring at This Time

As I write this now, I have been advised of at least20 very valuable domains that were stolen from their owners in the previous 60 days. As an example, of 2 cases I personally affirmed, the domain names were stolen from one specific domain registrar, based in the USA. The domains were moved to another domain registrar in China. Both these companies who own the domains are, in fact, based on the USA. So, it’s not logical that they would move their domain names to a Chinese domain name registrar.

Both domains, this exact same domain name thief kept the domain name ownership documents intact, and they both show that the former owners. However, in 1 instance, part of this domain contact record was altered, andthe former owner’s speech is current, but the last part of the addressis listed as a Province in China, rather than Florida, in which the firmwhose domain name was stolen is situated.

What tipped us off to those stolen domain casesis that both Domains names were listed for sale on a favorite domain name marketplace. However, these are domains in which the general consensus of this value would be over $100,000 each, and were listed for 1/10th of their value. It’s too good to be true, and probably it isstolen. The same is true for all these domains that are supposedly stolen. The cost provides them away, and, in this case, the ownership records (the WHOIS records) also show evidence of this theft.

It’s never Been more important to take responsibility for your digital resources, and Make sure thatthey are using a domain registrar that has adapted And developed with the times. A Couple of minutes spent sensibly, securing your Digital assets, is imperative in times like these. It can function as Difference between your valuable digital assets and internet properties being Safeguarded, or potentially subjected to theft and threat.

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