Tag: domain names

Internet Domain Name Sellers

When you’re starting up a new company or have any other reason to need a new Internet domain name, it can be tricky to decide on the name and then to ensure the company name is available (if you want it) and the relevant domain names are available.

Then you have to ensure that the chosen name doesn’t mean something unpleasant in a common language or in slang or is unintentionally funny and that it does match your Marketing need for a relevant name.

E.g. a new bakers wants to use the name Best Bakers and decides on domain names bestbakers.co.uk and bestbakers.store and that’s all.

If the domain names are available – then no problem but if what you want isn’t available? – you may have to can try to buy them from the existing owners.

Generally this will be a business or Internet operation for whom the domain name is relevant so it could take a lot of cash to pry the name away from them.

But it might also be a domain name hoarder who has what you want.

These people buy domain names they think could be valuable in the future and then they will hold you to ransom to get what you want.

Another variant of this is that once having bought the domain names you want you may get emails from people offerign to sell you related domain names.

E.g. for Best Bakers that could be bestbakers.com or bestbakers.shop etc.

These people don’t usually own the domain name, they just were notified of your purchase. They check what related names are available and offer them to you. If you say yes and agree a price then they actually buy the domain name and sell it to you – having charged you a big mark up for it of course.

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How to Protect Your Domain Name

Your Internet domain name e.g. mybusiness.co.uk can be very valuable and a key part of your business. You may think it’s impossible for someone to take your domain name but it does happen and the scammers are clever in how they do it, leaving you with the difficult task of proving you are the rightful owner.

For a hacker to take your domain name, there are two basic methods:-

  1. They change your DNS configuration, to redirect traffic from your site to their site
  2. They modify your registration contact information, which gives them full control over your domain.

There is a database called WHOIS that keeps track of the owner’s details and contact person for every domain name as well as the name server data.

A hacker can also change the registration data in the WHOIS database. This then makes it difficult for you to prove that you are the rightful owner, not the hackers. The hacker may also move the domain registration to another registrar which makes it more difficult to get your domain name back.

Domain Locking

The best protection for your domain name is to have it locked. This is a service provided by the domain registrars and it stops unauthorized transfer of your domain name to another registrar.

Once your domain is locked, it will be almost impossible for the thieves to redirect your nameservers or transfer your domain name.

Only with authorization from you, will your registrar will unlock the domain when you need to make changes, and then it can be returned to locked status.

WHOIS Data Entry Protection

Every domain registrar must maintain a publicly viewable “WHOIS” database. For every registered domain, the database must contain personal contact information, including each domain owner’s street address, telephone number, and email address.

Most registrars offer a security feature called WHOIS protection which replaces your contact details with those of the registrar. This maintains your security.

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Domain Name Theft

Your Internet domain name e.g. mybusiness.co.uk can be very valuable and a key part of your business. Without it, online customers won’t be able to find your website or may be redirected without their knowledge to a copycat site.

You may think it’s impossible for someone to take your domain name but it does happen and the scammers are clever in how they do it, leaving you with the difficult task of proving you are the rightful owner.

For a hacker to take your domain name, there are two basic methods:-

  1. They change your DNS configuration, to redirect traffic from your site to their site
  2. They modify your registration contact information, which gives them full control over your domain

A hacker can also change the registration data in the WHOIS database. This then makes it difficult for you to prove that you are the rightful owner. If they have control, then the hacker may also move the domain registration to another registrar which makes it more difficult to get your domain name back.

Q. How Can Hackers Access Your Domain Account?

The most common method is through a phishing attack. They send you emails that look to be from some official body, such as the domain registrar and get you to click a link to their fake website page and use your login and password thus giving them your login credentials.

Alternatively they get your login credentials from a data breach or simply buy the information from another hacker who has employed phishing attacks etc.

Protecting Your Domain

Prevention is the key, rather than planning what to do in the event of such a problem.

Ensure a strong password and that only you know the password for domain control, guard against phishing attacks and anything out of the ordinary regarding your domain.  The most effective control is domain locking.

Domain Locking

You can ‘lock’ your domain, which means that changes will not be allowed unless you ‘unlock’ the domain.  Your domain registrar will do this for you and it’s normally a free service.

Domain locking also stops unauthorised transfer of your domain name to another registrar.

Keep your domain name safe.

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Wrong Domain Names

Before explaining about wrong domain names, we’d better clarify what’s meant by ‘correct’ domain names.

Appropriate or matching might be a better description than ‘correct’ but you can choose your own descriptive word.

The internet domain name chosen by a business or organisation or individual should match whatever they are selling or publishing or what they are.

That’s simple to understand.

Suppose you know there is a UK company called Flowersby, you can search using a search engine to find their website or could guess e.g. www.flowersby.co.uk or www.flowersby.uk or flowersby.uk.com maybe.

If Flowersby is an international company then I might try www.flowersby.com

Business, organisations and individuals normally pick domain names that make it easy for them to be found.

If I’m a UK company then I should choose a domain name ending in .co.uk or .uk or .uk.com

If I’m a local cricket club then I might pick e.g. “.cricket” or “.club”.

If I’m a non profit organisation then I would probably pick a domain suffix “.org”

Make it obvious to people what you are.

The Fightback Ninja has the domain name fightback.ninja for obvious reasons and because people associate qualities such as stealth, silent and deadly, expert etc. with the word Ninja.

Is there any harm in people picking unexpected or unusual domain names or domain name suffixes?

NO.

You have a wide range to choose from and often it’s the need to standout that leads to the choice of domain name.

So, what is a ‘wrong’ domain name?

Many domain names have restrictions on who can buy them. This is to ensure integrity and to stop unscrupulous people buying up domain names they think other people will want then forcing them to pay over the odds for the name.  e.g. .ac.uk is only for UK academic institutions.

“Wrong” domain names are where scammers pick up whatever domain names they can get cheaply, using an automated system and without any restrictions on who can buy them.

e.g. “.bid” was very popular with scammers as it is cheap and available to all. “.icu” is a new domain name that is becoming very popular with scammers for the same reasons.

Say you get a message about some piece of farm equipment but it’s from an email address ending in diabetescure.icu then you should be suspicious as it looks like a scammer has changed from selling diabetes scams to selling farm scams.

Likewise someone offering a price comparison but the email address ends in .xyz

If the domain name doesn’t match the apparent company name or subject of the message then be suspicious.

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