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Protect Your Identity

December 1st, 2010 by Troy Newport


Treat Your Web Address Like Your Social Security #

Around the holidays we hear a lot of stories about identity theft, so it seemed timely to do a post about protecting your company’s online identity.  We have been in business for over 10 years and have seen the bad and ugly in our industry, and often the baddest and ugliest surrounds web addresses (also known as ‘domain names’.)

We typically come across three common situations in our industry:

1)  IT personnel or web developer controls the web address and holds it hostage
If your IT company or web development company manages your domain renewals for you, it is likely very convenient because you never have to worry about renewals.  But if you ever try to sever your business relationship with them they have a lot of power by holding your domain name.  Be sure you have something in writing that states you own the domain name, and insures they will cooperate with transferring it to you or another party upon request.  While they can still create a lot of hassle if you try to sever your relationship with them, this gives you additional ammunition to take to the registrar and plead your case to get your domain released.

2)  Company accidentally allows their web address to expire
If you manage your own domain name, make sure the credit card on your account is up to date and your account is set to auto-renew.  You should also make sure the email address on your registrar account is an email address that will never change, such as a Yahoo or Gmail address.  If you move, your Roadrunner email account may change to a Verizon account, and you will not receive renewal notifications if you forget to update your registrar account.

Also, the contact email address on the account should not be an account that uses your web address.  For example, if your web address is mycompany.com, do not place email@mycompany.com as your contact email on the account.  If the domain expires, you will not be able to retrieve emails from the registrar to gain control of your account, and the process will be many times more difficult to rectify.

3)  Company is scammed out of  giving up control of their web address
And finally, spend the extra money on Private Registration.  This hides your personal information from potential phishers and scammers.  All of the information on your registrar account is public, and it makes it very easy for scammers to send you emails, faxes, snail mail or even make telephone calls and attempt to obtain your credit card and account login information.

For example, here is all the information that would be accessible to the public if you do not have Private Registration:

Registrant:
Webtivity Design Solutions

9115 58th Drive East
Suite B
Bradenton, Florida 34202
United States

Registered through: Webtivity Domains
Domain Name: WEBTIVITYDESIGNS.COM
Created on: 16-Aug-00
Expires on: 16-Aug-15
Last Updated on: 14-Jan-10

Administrative Contact:
Design Solutions, Webtivity  xxx @webtivitydesigns.com
9115 58th Drive East
Suite B
Bradenton, Florida 34202
United States
+1.9417537574 Fax — +1.9417538564


That’s a lot of information available for Phishers that they can use to target you and try to convince you they are contacting you from your registrar.   Follow these tips and protect your company’s most important marketing tool!


2)  clients’ IT personnel or web developer controls the web address and holds it hostage

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