Welcome to Cybersquatting Law Radio where domain name, cybersquatting, and trademark domain-name issues are always the hottest topic of discussion. Whether you are a trademark owner who believes they are a victim of cybersquatting or a domain owner wrongly accused of trademark infringement, you will find all the tips you need to protect your rights right here.
Welcome to Cybersquatting Law Radio, my name is Cybersquatting and Trademark Attorney Enrico Schaefer and I specialize in domain name protection. We get calls every single day from clients who say, “Someone stole my domain name.”, so you need to understand how to prevent domain theft.
If you are a small company or a business that is starting to get going on the internet, oftentimes, your domain name – the www.your company.com – is an overlooked asset. Too often, small business and companies do too little to protect their domain name assets, so let’s talk a little bit about that.
How do you prevent domain theft if you’re a start-up company, a growing company, or a small business that’s just getting into the web space and just starting to roll out your web presence? The key is to control your domain registrant account with your registrar.
So, what is a registrar? The registrar is the company that you use to register your domain name, such as Godaddy or Network Solutions or Moniker. It’s the company that you went to to buy your domain name. As part of that process, you create an account with, say, Godaddy, and then after you’ve created an account, you’ve uploaded your name, you’ve created a password and you’ve provided an email address and login information, then they’ll go through and process your order for your domain name. If successful, you will now control that domain name. More importantly, you control that domain name through your login at that registrar, Moniker, Godaddy, etc.
Therefore, whoever can log in to your registrar is also the person who can move your domain name to a different account and who can change the login information to prevent you from having access to your domain name. This is the primary way that domain names are stolen. Someone gains access to the registrant account. So, the first tip I have for you is that if you really want to prevent domain theft, control your registrant account.
Now, how does that happen? How does a company lose access to their registrant account? Well, many times, it’s the person in the IT department who’s just a kid who registered your domain name or it’s a spouse or brother-in-law or a business partner. Oftentimes, clients will tell us they have no idea what our login information is to our registrant account because that person no longer works for the company. That employee no longer works for the company. That consultant no longer works for the company. We no longer use that web developer who registered out domain name. So, preventing domain theft is all about knowing who is the person who has access to the registrant account. So, stolen domain names sometimes aren’t stolen at all, they’re lost. That you’ve lost control of the interface that allows you to say, where is that domain name DNS going to point in order to make your website live. Who gets control of the email addresses at the domain name – yourname @ your company.com – these types of things. So, if you want to prevent domain theft, don’t allow just anyone to register your domain name. If someone out there, if a third party, an employee, a partner, a consultant or web developer has registered your domain name, you should immediately ask for the login information to that account and you should create a new login and password for that account that only you and only a few other people at your small business or your company have access too. And you should change the login password frequently. Most companies do a lot of business online and many of them really bet the farm on their website. Shouldn’t you protect your most valuable internet asset, your domain name, from domain theft? I think you should. And I’m Cybersquatting Law Attorney Enrico Schaefer; we’ll see you next time.
You’ve been listening to Cybersquatting Law Radio. Whether you are filing or defending a claim of cybersquatting under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), we have a cybersquatting and domain dispute attorney ready to answer your questions.