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The murky world of domain name hijacking

If you own a domain name and can't remember when it is up for renewal, you'd better be aware of possibilities in getting hijacked.

In reality, getting the domain name hijacked is likely to be no more than an inconvenience than a disaster, but organizations have suffered as a result of forgetfulness to renew. As an example a rugby club suddenly discovered their site was no longer about rugby. An explicit adult site had taken over the domain name.

Forgetting to renew the registration let another person register the name. In fact, it isn't illegal, you just need to be proactive and up to date with all business dealings. This is known as cybersquatting here are some tricks to avoid it:
  • You don't actually own a domain name, you reserve it for your own use. This is often for one or two years. Many Internet Service Providers send reminder e-mails and notices, but some unfortunately don't. Keep your renewals recorded.
  • Check when your domain name is up for renewal by searching the database at whois.net. Renewal dates, your current host, and your registration service provider are provided.
  • Unscrupulous businesses out there do keep an eye on renewal dates. Popular websites with high traffic and high search engines ranking are targeted. If renewal fails, they reserve the domain name and replace the existing website with their own pages, generally adult in nature. All your site development goes to waste, and your business reputation can be ruined in the process.
  • Renew your domain name can take place during the days and weeks before expiry. Either contact the registration service provider you used to get the name in the first place, or shop around and for a provider who offers cheaper options.
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