Don't Get Sucked Into This Domain Name Scam

by: Barbara Camisa

WARNING! World Wide Slam

I had received quite a bit of snail mail a few years ago from the Domain Registry of America, which I had found out was a reseller for Register.com and were disguising themselves to look like Register.com. They were based in Canada. I believe it was in 2002 when Register filed suit against them.

This is a very common practice around the world, known as 'slamming'. Then there's domain name hijacking which is also very common since transferring domain names is very easy to do.

Whatever you do, NEVER renew a domain via email. Always go straight to the registrar's site.

Here's a few tips to help prevent hijacking of your domain names:

- Use a Registrar who offers the 'registration lock' feature and lock in your domain name. The domain cannot be transferred as long as this lock is on. So, if you decide to transfer, be sure to unlock first. Some Registrars' security standards are weaker than others. That's why it's up to you to do your best in assuring your domain name is secure as possible.

- Before registering or buying a domain name, besides checking for trademark, also check to make sure it's not a stolen domain.

- Since the Administrative contact listed in the WhoIs info is authorized to execute transfer of the domain name, be very careful whom you list as the Administrative contact. It's always best to list yourself as both the Registrant and Administrative contacts or someone whom you trust with your life.

- It's best Not to use a free email account like HotMail. They're easier to crack. Since these accounts don't allow too much space, if your email box gets full, you may be missing an important notice from your Registrar.

- Make sure all of your contact information is correct. Check spelling.

- Keep on top of your domain name renewals. Renew early. Use the Auto-Renew feature. Quite a few Registrars provide this convenient feature.

- If you're going to be OFF the internet for a few days or longer, NEVER announce this publicly in forums, your newsletters, etc., as this is a red flag to hijackers that you won't be around to answer your emails. Believe me, there's plenty of hijackers nosing around for domain names.

- For each domain name you register, print out the WhoIs info and any other documents pertaining to the transaction. This isn't full-proof since you may change info, but every little bit helps. After registering a domain, if you don't plan on using it for a while, it wouldn't hurt to put up a web page and submit it to the Way Back Machine at Archive.org:-)

Barbara Camisa is a Web Developer, Advisor, Web Host Reseller, Domain Expert, and Web Dev Tutor, helping webmasters and web business owners since 1998. Visit her private coaching site at http://www.BusinessWebWise.com.