Domain Name Hijacking: Is Yours Vulnerable?

Image: MGN Online/Hannaford / Flickr

Image: MGN Online/Hannaford / Flickr

If you own a domain name for your business or hobby, take heed. Domain name squatters are hijacking expired domain names. Failing to register your domain name again before it expires puts you at risk. Another entity can purchase it and hold the domain name for ransom, demanding payment of thousands of dollars in order to return it.

For companies that have refused to pay the ransom, the threats have escalated to placing a porn site on the domain in retaliation. Costs add up quickly in this situation, not only in terms of repurchasing the domain name, but also loss of business and potential litigation.

What should you do to protect your domain name? Here are some precautions:

  • Keep domain name registration records accurate and current.
  • Keep registrant account information, passwords or other credentials private and secure.
  • Only grant registration account access and change control to parties in registrant’s organization that involve domain name registration.
  • Know critical restoration of domain name procedures listed by your service provider.
  • Request domain names be placed on Registrar-Lock.
  • Routinely check domain name information to insure no unauthorized changes have been made to the contact information.
  • Choose a registrar who issues a transfer pending notification as its standard practice.

As time goes by, more and more domain names will be taken and can become more valuable. Purchase the ones you want while they are inexpensive and protect them from getting away from you after purchase. Source: BBB.org.

Read more: Documentation is Key to Recovering Hijacked Domain Names

To report a scam, go to the BBB Scam Tracker. To find trustworthy businesses, go to bbb.org.