Give Domain Registration Information a Second Thought
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Honest and Complete Registration Information
is very poorly protected by privacy laws, and is in fact available for
any company to buy for $10,000 or less. So many people are tempted to
enter bogus registration information to avoid getting spammed. You should
resist this temptation for two reasons:
have clauses in their registration agreements stating that all registration
information must be truthful and complete. The registrars even have
the right to take the name back from you if you enter bogus information.
- More importantly,
the registration information you enter is used by the registrar to contact
you. If you are listed as 'Mickey Mouse' and your e-mail address is
[email protected], don't expect to get contacted, even if your name is
about to expire.
the E-mail Address Carefully
will use the e-mail address you supply as the sole method of contacting
you. Make sure the e-mail address is typed properly, in operation the
day you perform the registration, and is still in operation when your
initial registration expires.
you should avoid using a "temporary" e-mail address. What is
meant by "temporary"? Anything you won't be using in a year
or two can be considered temporary. For instance, most people use e-mail
addresses supplied by their ISP. Six months down the line they get a new
cable modem from a different ISP and forget that their old e-mail address
will no longer work.
you get a more permanent e-mail address? There are countless companies
that will provide you with a permanent home for your e-mail, many of them
web-based e-mail providers such as Hotmail or Yahoo.
danger with these types of web-based accounts is that people forget to
check them regularly. If an important e-mail comes through to an account
you never check, it is worse than getting bounced back to the sender,
because the domain registration company will believe you have received
and read the e-mail sent by them.
many companies offer "life-time" e-mail addresses, only to go
bankrupt a week later.
is to purchase a POP3 mailbox and attach it to your new domain name. If
you registered myebusiness.com, you could set up a POP mailbox called
With e-mail aliases, you can set up other e-mail addresses, such as [email protected]
for no extra charge. Not only do these custom e-mail addresses look impressive
on business cards, they also guarantee you have a permanent mailbox for
as long as you want to use the domain name.
with this method is that a mailbox attached to your domain name may be
"cut off" soon after the domain's expiry date. So the domain
registrar may be trying to contact you at this vital time but unable to
get through. So the golden rule is if you a use a mailbox attached to
your domain, you must renew on or before the expiry date.
the registration company will need to contact you near the end of the
domain name's initial registration period in order to remind you to renew
it. If you don't have a valid e-mail address and check it regularly, you
are in grave danger of losing your domain name.
a Safe Password
will ask you to provide a password alongside the actual registration information.
By doing so, you can manage your name later on using a web-based domain
management system. Whilst web-based access is extremely convenient, it
is also a potential security risk. The password is the only thing stopping
hackers accessing your name.
rule with passwords is: They should be easy to remember by the owner but
impossible for a 3rd party to guess. Remember, if someone guesses your
password, they can manage your domain name and potentially steal it from
you. Here are some do's
and dont's for
producing memorable but unguessable passwords:
use a minimum of six characters, preferably eight or more. Passwords less
than six characters are just not long enough to be considered safe.
use a mixture of letters and numbers.
use a mixture of upper and lower case letters.
use the domain name as the password. e.g. if the domain is SpeakEasy.com
don't use SpeakEasy as the password.
use your first or last name as the password. Remember, for any domain
name, the first and last names of the registrant are easily obtainable
using a simple WHOIS
use the name of the registration company you bought the name from. Hackers
will think of that!
use common, every day words e.g. "love", "domain",
"name", "password", "guess". Hackers will
have a list of these types of words and try them first.
a Company Name Only If Appropriate
names are open for both companies and individuals to register. This is
why you will be asked for both an organization and an individual's name
during the registration process.
registering the name for a company, list the company name in full. The
individual should be someone within the company with authority, not just
anyone in the IT department.
If you are
an individual, do not enter a made-up company name. If you have to type
something, make it clear this registration is for personal use e.g. "N/A",
"None", "Personal Registration" etc. If you enter
a company name, whether real or not, you are assigning registration rights
to that company. If the company doesn't exist, you might find it very
difficult in the future to transfer the name to a new owner or even perform
updates to the registration information, especially if the registrar being
used relies on faxed letterheads from the current owners to perform changes
or transfers of ownership.
The Registration Information Up-To-Date
days where people change phone numbers and e-mail addresses regularly,
remember to keep your registration information updated at all times. This
is as important as entering accurate information in the first place.
As soon as
you complete a domain registration, keep the following information safe:
name you registered.
expiration date (e.g. if you registered for a period of 1 year, 1 year
on from registration date).
- The contact
details (URL, e-mail address) of the registration company that performed
the registration. If the registrar doesn't contact you before the expiration
date, then you must contact them. It's your domain name at risk if you
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