Protecting your brand and online presence is essential for long-term success as a business owner. Among the most powerful tools in your toolkit is your domain name. However, if left in the care of the wrong hands, it could spell disaster for your business.
Here are critical reasons you don’t want to leave your domain name to chance or fate:
Protect Your Brand – It takes time, resources, and hard work to build a trusted brand name. But bad actors can undo all of that with just a few swift keystrokes.
If someone gains control of your domain name, they could change your website settings to redirect traffic elsewhere, such as a malicious website that damages your reputation.
No one can afford to risk this and more! Losing control of your domain name jeopardizes the investment in building your brand. How can you even set a price tag on something so valuable?
Prevent Cybercrime – Domain hijacking is a type of cybercrime that is rising. A cybercriminal gains access to your domain name registrar account and changes the domain contact information in a domain hijacking.
Once hijacked, the bad actor can control your domain name, website, or email to carry out various nefarious activities. As you might imagine, domain hijacking can be devastating for businesses because it can lead to significant financial losses and reputational damage.
Ensure Compliance – Depending on your industry; there may be regulations that require you to take specific steps to protect your domain name.
For example, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requires businesses that accept credit card payments to have a Domain Name System (DNS) security extension (DNSSEC) in place to help prevent domain hijacking.
If you’re not compliant with regulations, you could face significant fines or other penalties.
Avoid Service Disruptions – If your domain name gets taken over, your site goes offline. All downtime can significantly impact your business, primarily if you rely on your website to generate revenue or provide user-base services.
With a greater understanding of how important it is to keep your domain registration safe, here are tips on how to accomplish it:
Make Sure The Company Holds Registrant And Admin Contact – Confirm that you or someone in your company holds the domain name’s registrant and admin contact. By doing so, you ensure you or someone in your organization has access to domain-related records.
Keep Your Contact Information Updated – It’s always a best practice to keep your contact information updated. If you need to make any changes, update your registrar right away to minimize the risk of unauthorized changes.
Use A Strong Password – When creating a password for your domain name registrant, choose a unique and complex password. Avoid using easily guessed words or phrases, and don’t reuse passwords from other accounts.
Keep a hard copy of your login information in a safe place as a record of last resort.
Monitor Your Domain Name – It’s good to monitor your domain name regularly. This way, you can detect any changes made without permission. Lock your domain name. You can stop people from making changes to your domain name without permission.
Enable Two-Factor Authentication – Many registrars offer two-factor authentication (2FA) as an added layer of security. In addition to passwords, a second factor, such as a mobile app code or a physical token, gets used to authenticate users.
Users without physical access to the 2FA code can’t gain access or control of your domain name.
Know Your DNS Host – The DNS settings, or Domain Name Servers, direct people to find your website. They translate the domain name into an IP address that computers can read. DNS records include A Records for addresses, C Records for Canonical Names, SOA for Start Of Authority, and NS Records for Name Servers.
All of these different records, and others, play a crucial role in keeping websites functioning as expected and without issues.
Domain Registration – What To Consider When Registering
Whether launching your first business website or updating an existing one, the process begins with choosing the right domain name. It’s a daunting task since there are already around 1.8 billion websites.
Understanding the different components of a domain name and what makes a good one helps make your decision easier. For many company owners, choosing a domain name that is easy to remember and promote is critical. However, other considerations include SEO and ensuring the domain name is legal and available for registration.
Here are some tips on what to consider when registering a domain name:
Choose A Domain Name That Is Easy To Remember – A good domain name is easy to remember and pronounce. It should be short, preferably no more than two words.
Avoid Intellectual Property Conflicts – You’ll want to ensure any domain name doesn’t infringe upon someone else’s intellectual property, such as the use of trademarks that could confuse. Let’s use a shoe store owner as an example. Registering any domain with a favorite shoe brand in the URL is a risky business and is likely to get a takedown request when the intellectual property owner gets alerted.
Make It SEO-Friendly – A domain name that is easy to remember, like your company name, will likely appear higher in search engine rankings when people search for you or keywords related to your business online.
Check For Availability – Once you have a list of potential domain names, it’s time to check their availability. Keep in mind that top-level domains like .com are always a favorite; however, other new and descriptive extensions offer a world of opportunities for new registrations.
Keep It Short – A short domain name is easier to remember and type into a web browser. It’s also more likely to stay under the maximum number of characters allowed in a URL, at most: 2,048.
In conclusion, it’s essential to take steps to keep your domain registration safe. By following these simple tips, you’re taking steps to ensure that your valuable domain doesn’t fall into the hands of the wrong people.