What are Some Ways to Prevent Domain Hijack?17th May, 2023
The internet has changed the way that we do business. A great domain name is an asset. According to data from IBIS World, domain names are a multi-billion dollar industry, and the value of U.S. domain names grows by nearly 3% every year. Unfortunately, bad actors may intentionally target the domain name of a business or organization. A domain hijack can cause serious damage to a company. In this article, our domain name lawyers provide an overview of some of the most effective strategies that you can use to prevent a domain name hijack.
Domain Hijack: Defined
Domain hijacking—also referred to as domain theft—is a malicious activity in which an attacker takes unauthorized control over a domain name or its associated registration and administrative functions. Most often, the attacker attempts to gain access to another party’s domain by exploiting vulnerabilities, utilizing social engineering tactics, or cracking passwords associated with the domain’s registrant, administrative, or technical contact information.
The risk is significant because a domain hijack can cause real damage to your website and even your company’s brand/reputation. The financial losses can be significant, as hijackers may redirect website traffic to malicious or competing sites, thereby undermining revenue and customer trust. Beyond that, hijackers can intercept sensitive data transmitted through the hijacked domain, leading to data breaches, identity theft, and exposure to confidential information. Major search engines—including Google—could also blacklist your domain.
Seven Actionable Strategies to Help You Proactively Prevent a Domain Hijack
While your domain name faces threats from bad actors, there is good news: The right proactive strategies can help you to effectively protect your domain from hijackers. It is important to take a comprehensive approach. Here are seven ways that you can prevent a domain name hijack:
- Choose a Strong Domain Registrar: As a starting point, it is crucial that businesses and organizations in the United States elect a reputable domain registrar. You should opt for a domain name registrar with a proven record of strong security measures and excellent customer support. Doing so helps ensure that your domain is less vulnerable.
- Implement Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Do you have two-factor authentication in place for your account with your domain registrar? You should. It is both a strong and relatively straightforward security measure. 2FA adds an extra layer of security by requiring both a password and a unique code sent to a trusted device.
- Use Strong and Unique Passwords: Password strength still matters. Creating a strong and unique password for your domain registrar account is a foundational security measure. Never reuse a password from another online service. You do not want the hack of a third party to put your domain name account at risk of being compromised.
- Keep Your Contact Information Updated: Your contact details with the domain registrar should always be up-to-date. Doing so is a much-needed security practice. With up-to-date contact details, you can make it far easier for the registrar to contact you in case of any suspicious activities related to your domain.
- Monitor Your Domain Expiration Dates: Domain names expire. When a name expires, it becomes especially vulnerable to potential hijacking attempts. Be proactive when dealing with expiration dates. Set up calendar reminders or enable auto-renewal to avoid losing control of your domain due to expired registration. Be warned: Domain hijackers often target domains that are about to expire or have lapsed registrations.
- Enable Domain Locking: Domain locking—also referred to as registrar lock or transfer lock—is an actionable strategy that helps to prevent unauthorized changes to your domain settings, including things like DNS settings and transfer requests. Make sure to enable this feature through your domain registrar. It is an excellent way to exchange security.
- Regularly Monitor Domain Activity: Finally, you should be sure to regularly check your domain’s WHOIS information, DNS records, and other settings for any unauthorized changes. Set up alerts with your domain registrar to receive notifications when changes are made to your domain settings. Act quickly if any suspicious activity is detected.
We are the Proven Leaders in Domain Name Law
At ESQwire, we are proven leaders in domain name disputes. Our legal team provides solutions-driven legal representation. If you have any specific questions or concerns about domain name hijacks, we are here to help. Give us a call now or contact us online for a completely confidential, no-obligation consultation. Our firm is the proven leader in domain name law nationwide.