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Protect your domain name - do it yourself!

There is a possible risk that your domain name may be held hostage for many different reasons.

Your web hosting company may register your domain name for you. They list you or your company with the Registrar as the owner (Registrant) and sometimes as Billing Contact, but they list themselves as Administrative Contact as well as Technical and Zone Contact. - What does this mean? It's not good. It's not good at all. - They in fact gained control over your domain name! If you wanted to change a hosting company or domain records, such as your office address or email, you have very little power to do so and will have to go through fax ... phone tag ... certification .... authentication nightmare.

Here are few tips to save you time and potential trouble when managing your domain name:

  1. Do it yourself! Take time to register and understand your domain name.

  2. Always make sure that your ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT on the domain name is someone in your company, with a company owned e-mail address. Administrative contact on the domain name is the SECURITY CONTACT and is empowered to make and approve any changes.

  3. Do not permit your employee's private email address listed as in the administrative contact record - what if the employee leaves the company? Then, if you domain registration security is based on that emplyee's private email, they will retain power to control your domain. So take the extra effort to link administrative contact to company owned email address to save yourself potential hassle over your domain name control. Also assure that email address on administrative contact is current and valid.

  4. If your domain administration is based on login and password, be sure to keep the login and password in a safe place. If an employee or a web hosting company arranged for your domain registration, be sure that your Company principals have copies of this information to protect you domain name when or if the key employee leaves your Company. Also find out how to change the password associated with your domain so you may always keep this information private.

  5. Make sure your domain name is not trademarked by someone else. Trademark is one of the main reasons why many individuals and companies lost ownership of their domain names in process of ICANN appointed arbitration. Trademark your domain! If you manage the process of trademark application with US Patent and Trademark Office, the cost is under $500 and well worth it! Otherwise one day you may face an arbitration brought against you by someone who holds that Trademark.

    Article: Guarding Your Rights by PC World.

  6. Periodically check your domain name record to assure no one has maliciously changed it. It happens!

    Article: Protect Your Domain Name From Cybertheft - Workz.Com

  7. Choose a Registrar with a good track record, respectable standing and reputation. Read the fine print! Many registrars offer cheap domain registrations but have hidden fees. We have reports on a registrar who offers 8.95 domain registration but if you want to transfer your domain, they will charge you $49.00 transfer fee unless you stay with them for 3 years. So beware of hidden charges. Check out the company to make sure they have been around a while, it could be quite confusing to track how and where to manage your domain if the "discount" registrar went out of business.

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