Tag: domain names

How to Understand Website Addresses

Some Internet addresses (also known as URLs) are straightforward e .g www. Amazon.com is Amazon.

But many addresses are more complex and scammers often try to hide their Internet address, by making it look like the organisation they are pretending to be from.

e.g. www.amazon.truesite.com is not Amazon, it is truesite (a made-up name for this example).

Internet addresses are made up of parts (sometimes called labels) as follows:

[Left Hand Side] . top level domain / [Right Hand Side]

  1. The top level domain is – .com or .co.uk or .pl or .biz etc.

This is the country code (e.g. uk for United Kingdom) or generic name such as .biz or .com for businesses or .org for organisations or .taxi for taxi companies or .net for Internet operations etc.

  1. The right hand side after the slash which is after the top level domain is to specify which page of the website and pass parameters to that page e.g. the user name
  2. The left hand side is the part of most interest as it contains the organisations domain name e.g. the FBI in fbi.gov or Barclays in www.barclays.co.uk
  3. The http:// and https:// at the front of an Internet address just specifies that it is a website rather than something else and the ‘s’ means secure although you cannot trust that sites with the ‘s’ are actually secure unless you make further checks.

That left hand side is where scammers try to disguise the real domain name. This is possible because anything that comes before the organisation’s domain name can be ignored (for the [purpose of assessing the security of an address) so scammers can put in whatever they want.

e.g. www.microsoft.support.trusite.com is nothing to do with Microsoft – it’s just truesite.com in fact.

And https://login.office.microsoft.com.truesite.com/microsoft-support/ is just truesite.com again.

So, do look carefully at website addresses before you click on a link and do identify the company’s domain name and not be distracted by the left hand side stuff before the domain name or anything after that slash following the domain name.

If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.

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More Internet Domain Names

Brooklands Radio is obviously a radio station and the Internet domain “.radio” is becoming more popular.

In theory we could buy the domain name BrooklandsRadio.radio or Brooklands.radio or something similar if we wanted to.

“.radio” is an example of a domain name suffix or top level domain as they are called.

Many of these such as .com or .co.uk can be bought by anyone for maybe £5 – £20 per year.

And some are incredibly valuable such as Google.com or Microsoft.com or bbc.co.uk.

Some have protected registrations which means you can only own the domain if it is relevant to your business.  “.radio” is protected so only radio stations and business in the field of radio can buy such a domain name.

Why is there a need to protect domains? There are unfortunately a lot of people (claim jumpers) who buy domain names they think will be valuable then try to sell them at a profit to someone who needs that one.

If .radio was not protected then someone could buy up the domain bbc.radio for example and then sell it at an extortionate price to the BBC if they wanted it.  This can prevent people getting the domain names that they should have for their business.

There are new Internet domain extensions created periodically and some of the more interesting names are: domains are






.rsvp .com

.dad .com



And so on.

There’s a world of new domain names to choose from. But most businesses still use .com as it’s so well known.

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Domain Names Offered

The domain name for your business is an important choice and it should be protected against hackers trying to steal the domain name or the customer traffic it gets.

Once you have a domain name e.g. mybusiness.co.uk then you face the choice of whether it’s worth buying the same name with different extensions e.g. mybusiness.com, mybusiness.uk, mybusiness.london etc.

If you think you might lose customers to other variants on your domain name, then it may be worth the extra small cost to buy more domain names and redirect the traffic from them to your main site, otherwise it could be pointless.

Some people specialise in buying and selling domain names.

They have two basic ways of working-

  1. They look for variants on high profile web site names and see if they can buy any similar names. These might be misspellings on the original name or very similar names or the same name with different extensions etc. They buy up any they think will sell for a high price.
  2. They do as above but don’t actually buy any domain names.

They can then contact the owner of the high profile web site and offer to sell them the variants and spin a story on how it is essential for the owner to buy all variants on the name.

For the ones who take the risk and buy the domain names, it’s a little akin to blackmail but they take a risk and see which ones pay off and it is legal.

For those who don’t risk their own money (i.e. don’t buy the domain names and just pretend to have them) it is legal but more of a con as the owner can just buy the domain names they want directly without having to pay an inflated cost from the scammer.

If you have any experiences with phishing scams do let me know, by email.

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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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