It seems that domain name theft has been on the rise of late. Theo at DomainGang.com has done a good job of reporting on this, and I am sure there are many other cases that don’t get reported. Domain theft, also commonly known as domain name hijacking, can impact anyone who owns a domain name, and it has an especially negative impact on businesses whose domain names are used for commercial activity.
If a case of domain hijacking occurs, I recommend contacting the registrar immediately to see what they can do to help. You should also contact a lawyer with domain name expertise to help facilitate the expedient return of the domain name. The lawyer might be able to advise you one filing a report with the FBI and a local or state police report. There are other things that should be done, and a domain attorney is the best person to advise on these matters.
Listed below are 5 tips to better protect your domain names from having them stolen. If you can think of something else, you are welcome to add a comment.
Two factor authentication – Many domain registrars allow customers to have 2 factor authentication on their accounts, which adds a layer of protection. Some companies send a text message with a code after login, and others require customers to answer security questions.
Transfer lock – Some domain name registrars offer a free or premium service to add an additional lock to domain names in an account to prevent unauthorized transfers. The domain registrant needs to provide a special code or other type of confirmation in order to initiate outbound domain transfers.
Use different account names and passwords – If you have accounts at different domain registrars, it is important to ensure that your passwords are different at each registrar. You may also want to use different user names for your accounts. This may make it more difficult and time consuming for someone to access all domain names.
Change passwords – Change your passwords regularly. If someone steals a bundle of passwords and you happen to use the same email / password combination at your registrar, your domain names may be at risk. Changing your password regularly can help mitigate the risk.
Secure your Whois email account – Depending on the registrar, access to an email account might help a domain name thief take control over a domain registrar account. If the email account is compromised by a hacker, they could do a password reset and might gain access to the account.