Avoid domain theft
This is a post from 04/18/07 by Bjorn Kassoe Andersen, founder, owner and leader of Direction, a management and communications consulting company based in Denmark, which had its domain,direction.com, stolen back in 2006.
The domains most in danger of theft are those that contain generic words that in themselves create traffic through users’ direct typing of the URL. Our domain direction.com is an example of such a domain. Other domains in danger are well known trademarks and generally any domain that has a high traffic through users’ direct typing of the URL.
Here are the do’s and don’ts that will help you prevent your valuable domain names from being stolen:
- Use an ISP that actively focuses on security in order to minimize the risk of someone hacking into your email account.
- Use a domain name registrar that actively focuses on security and will take action if you say that an initiated transfer should not take place. Check the registrar’s reputation at places like namepros.com or similar. Among the registrars mentioned on the Internet for their focus on security are moniker.com and godaddy.com (but check this for yourself, this is not a recommendation). Have your domain name “locked”, which means that you have to confirm actively any changes to your registration.
- If possible, protect your domain name with a trademark registration; one national trademark registration is enough. The rules for domain name disputes are currently the best way to go if your domain name has been stolen. Having a trademark registration will improve your chances of getting the domain back. The trouble is that it can be difficult to trademark protect the kind of generic terms that are part of the domain names that have the highest risk of being stolen.
- Make sure all your account information and the computer(s) on which you store this information are secure - and that unauthorized access is not possible. This includes consistent and ongoing security measures against viruses, Trojan attacks, malware etc. You should of course also make sure that only trusted employees have access to your domain name registrations.
It takes significant skill and knowledge to actually steal a domain name. It seems unlikely that someone would take on so much effort to steal just one or a few domain names, and the likelihood is that traffic is taking place on a large scale, involving the theft of many valuable domains. Few people talk about this issue on the Internet and in the press so let us assume that companies and individuals with this problem do not generally want to go public. Read here why we chose to go public.