Domain names are in high demand these days, so much in fact that internet thieves are looking to steal them. Domain hijacking is increasingly on the rise and Network Solutions has been the biggest victim. Known as the largest and oldest registrar, Network Solutions recently reported that they have been thieved for hundreds of domain names. So how did this happen? Similar to how unscrupulous individuals purchase web hosting to distribute malicious code, domain thieves masquerade as administrative members of targeted companies and use that authority to modify the ownership of domains.
Domain hijacking could prove to be time consuming and costly. You may have to spend countless hours, days or weeks trying to prove that it is indeed your name in order to recover ownership. More determined thieves may also compromise the server associated with your domain. This could negatively impact business as traffic could be redirected away from your site. If thieves are clever enough to redirect your email server, they can actually distribute messages in your name, tarnishing the integrity of your business. Simply put, having your domain is something that can place your business in great jeopardy.
The recent wave of domain theft has exposed major security vulnerabilities in today’s registration system. Representatives at DomainCaddy have declared that 80 to 90 percent of all domain names are at the risk of hijacking, including those belonging to active internet businesses.
There are a few ways to minimize the risk of having your domain stolen. You can start by selecting the highest level of security for your domain registration account. These services are offered by many registrars for an additional fee. If you already have a name registered, contact your registrar by phone and ask them to upgrade the level of security on your account. You also want to make sure that no changes are made without your consent. The registrar should contact you by phone or email confirming that you want these changes to be made.
If you are looking to purchase your first domain name, it is a good idea to choose a registrar that offers a “hijack-proof” security service. Register.com is one such company that charges $99 for the “Domain Lockdown” service. With Network Solutions having been exposed for vulnerabilities, you should request the encrypted password option when registering a name with them. You can also choose their PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) account option. Both of these are far more secure than the standard “MAIL-FROM” option.
You should never use a Not-Care or After-Update service option to manage your account. According to the Network Solution notification policy, you will not receive notification of changes to your account until after they have been made. To avoid this, choose the Before-Update option that assures all changes go through you first for authorization.
Domain theft is an alarming situation to say the least. This is a huge concern for active domain owners and especially for those planning to build a website. You can began to practice prevention by making yourself away of this growing crime. The best protection lies with choosing a reliable domain registrar and purchasing the best security possible for your account.