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How webhosting can protect your domain name from scammers

Posted In Webmaster - By Techtiplib on Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 With 2 Comments

Check on another site your domain name is no longer available once you buy it

When you set up a website via a webhosting company they should take a number of precautions to ensure your domain (as my friends in Sweden say domänen) name is registered securely and cannot be overtaken by anyone else.  A simple way to check if they have registered your domain is to check it for availability on another webhosting site a couple of weeks after you have taken it, and if it comes up still available, something is wrong.

Domain name renewal scams

A scam which occurs from time to time is fraudulent companies contacting businesses telling them they need to re-register their domain name, and charging accordingly.  When they company fills in the form and sends the money, they are handing over their payment details and at the same time transferring ownership of their precious domain name to a bunch of criminals, for want of a better word.tech tips, tips, web master, web hosting, protect domain

Security information from your webhosting provider

Your webhosting company should warn you about identifying these practices and give you information about their methods of contact which will prove it is them writing to you rather than webhosting impersonators.   If they don’t, feel free to ask questions about domain name security and how you will be contacted for renewal, and whether renewal will happen automatically, which often suits busy companies better.

How scammers work

The problem with domain name scams is the communications look authoritative and are very convincing to the untrained eye.  It is really easy for identity thieves to get hold of email and postal addresses, the names of the people who run companies and other useful details which will help them personalize their letter or email to you and make it look completely real.

Don’t underestimate the possibility of identity theft

Identity theft is growing on a massive scale due partly to the accessibility of information on the internet; for some reason there are millions of people out there who still don’t think it can possibly happen to them, and that includes business owners too, who don’t take proper precautions and check out exactly who is demanding money from them.  If you run a business and have ever been scammed for an advertisement you never agreed to but ended up paying for, you will know what I mean.  Domain name theft is just another aspect of this expanding ‘industry’.

Stay private on WHOIS

One of the reasons criminals can find out about your domain names is that they are registered by your webhosting partner on the public database WHOIS. This accounts for the massive amount of spam people receive to their email addresses, too, by the way.  So when you are registering your domain name using webhosting, insist your details are kept private on WHOIS as a matter of course. Some webhosting plans allow WHOIs information to be kept private as a feature, while others may charge extra.  However your privacy is worth a lot when you consider the protection if affords from scammers in the future.

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