Your domain name is you on the Internet and not many people realise that it may be at risk of theft! It's a fact that many people leave themselves exposed to the risk of domain name theft, when all they need to do is take a few simple steps to significantly reduce the potential problem.
The root of the situation is that there are some significant weaknesses in ICANN's rules, which all accredited Domain Name Registrars must comply with.
The two main weaknesses are :-
1. You are only allowed to use one email address as the Administration control email, if you loose control of that email address then you loose control of you domain name as well!
2. Surprisingly none of the details that are given to a domain name registrar are checked in any way, this is wide open to abuse and allows a potential thief to operate freely.
There are other weaknesses and they all combine to make it easy for online crooks to steal your domain names and use your site and the hard won traffic you have built up for their own purposes.
So what can you do to protect your domain name?
The first and most basic thing you can do is not to use a free email address for your Admin Email Address, always use a regular POP email address in every case, it may not be quite as convenient but it is more secure.
Be prepared to register your domain names for more than one year at a time, the longer the better, but of course you do have to bear in mind the additional costs involved.
Be sure to change your password on a regular basis, at least every six months if not sooner and make sure that you use a secure password, no pets, children or spouses names!
Always lock the name you register with the Domain name Registrar and use whois guard or masking so you details are hidden. Again this costs extra but it is well worth it and it has the added benefit of reducing the possibility of spammers getting your details.
Finally keep a hard copy of all your details and passwords then you are covered when your hard disk goes down.
By taking the few simple steps outlined above you will be able to significantly increase the security of your domain name, but what can you do if the worst happens and you domain name is stolen.
The only person who can help you and restore the stolen domain name is your registrar, they will have come across this problem and will have a set procedure that they follow. It is going to take some time to sort out and the sooner you get in touch and the more information you can supply the quicker your domain name will be restored to you.
To keep up to date on developments in the domain name arena check out http://www.domain-fame.com
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