Recently, there has been an uptick in the Amount of Domains I am not sure whether it’s due to the worldwideoutbreak and people are getting more desperate for cash, or if domain thieves are taking advantage of the changing digital and technologyatmosphere. COVID-19 is causing more of us to become online and conduct business online. But this also means that many don’t fully understand how to properly protect their digital assets, like domains. This may be why we’re seeing more and more online scams, phishing like Google Ads phishing, and internet theft in general.
When I think of electronic assets, I think of many different kinds. Our electronic assets may consist of access to a bank account online, access to accounts like cryptocurrency accounts, and payment tradesites like PayPal, Masterbucks, and Venmo. Then there’s online shopping sites’ logins, such as Amazon, Walmart, Target, and eBay, where most likely you have an account where your payment data is stored. Apple Pay and Google Pay are others, as well as your website hosting account which manages your email (if you don’t utilize Gmail.com or Outlook.com), and, ultimately, your domain . In case your domain goes missing, then you eliminate a lot: accessibility to email, as well as your site most likely will go down, where you are going to eliminate visibility, online sales, and clients. Online thieves are hacking websites and anywhere there is a login, because they’re attempting to get to your digital assets.
Protecting Online Accounts
Many of us are now Utilized to protecting our online accounts by utilizing a Unique, protected password for each login that we have online. An significant part protecting digital assets, and domains, is to make sureyou have a secure password and two-factor authentication setup to your login at your domain registrar. Oftentimes, if a thief gains access to an account at a domain registrar, the consequences can be disastrous if you don’t have extra protections in place to safeguard your domain .
Hackers who access your domain registrar’s account may do a few things that would disrupt your company:
They can point the domain name to another web server, perhaps their”copy” of your site. They may even keep your contact info about the WHOIS record so it looks like you still own itbut the domain may be moved into their account. If it’s out of your accounts and you no longer control the domain , then they have stolen the domain and canresell it.
The thief or hacker can move the domain name with that registrar to another registrar. As soon as they start the transfer then they’vetried to steal the domain , and as soon as it is transferred then it is considered to be stolen. They can keep the same name servers so that it points to your site, and therefore you don’t notice that it is stolen.
Digital thieves know that domains are valuable, since they are Digital assets which may be sold for tens of thousands, thousands, hundreds of thousands, as well as millions of dollars. Unfortunately, domain crimes typically go un-prosecuted. Oftentimes, the domain thieves are not located in precisely the same country as the victim. All of themhave the same thing in common: they want to gain monetarily from stealing the domain name. Following is a couple domain crimes that I’ve found recently:
A organization’s account at a domain registrar was hacked (using social engineering).
The domain thief introduced as a domain buyer, telling the domain owner they wanted to purchase their domain for a few thousand dollars. The buyer and seller agreed to a price, the thief told them that they could pay them via cryptocurrency. The seller transferred the domain name when they had been given details of the cryptocurrency trade. They had been scammed, and lost the domain .
A domain name owner who has a portfolio of valuabledomain names gets their accounts hacked at a domain registrar. The owner doesn’trealize this, and the domains are transferred to another registrar in another nation. The gaining registrar is uncooperative (or in about the theft), and will not return the domains.
A domain name owner has her or his accounts hacked at the domain registrar and domains are transferred out to another registrar. Then they sell the domains to somebody else, and the domainsare transferred yetagain to another registrar. This occurs several times, with different registrars. Those who bought the domain names don’t know they’re stolen, and they lose any investment that they made in the domains. At times it’s hard to unravel cases like this, asthere are numerous owners and registrars involved.
All these happened in the previous two to three weeks. And so are just Examples of where the domain name owner might have done something to block the domain name theft. In the instance of the domain sale scam, the seller should have used a domain escrow service, there are numerous reputable escrow services, such as Epik.com’s Domain Escrow Services, as well as Escrow.com that manages domain name sales.
Just how can you minimize the danger of your domain getting stolen?
Transfer your domain to a protected registrar.
Log into your registrar account on a regular basis.
Set up registry lock(transfer lock) in your domain.
Check WHOIS information frequently.
Renew the domain for many years or”eternally”.
Use additional security features at your own Password.
Protect your domain using a domain name warranty.
Consider moving your domain to a protected domain name registrar. There are registrars that have not kept up with common securitypractices, like allowing you to set up 2-Factor Authentication onyour accounts, Registrar Lock (which halts domain transfers), as well as preparing a PIN number in your accounts for customer supportinteractions.
Log into your domain registrar’s accounts on a regular basis. I Can’t actually say how often you need to do this, but you should do it on a regular schedule. Log in, make sure you have the domain name(s) in your accounts, make sure they’re on auto-renew, and nothing looks out of the ordinary. This less-than-5-minute task could literally save your domain from being stolen.
Establish Registrar Lock or”transfer lock” in your domain . Some It is a setting which makes sure the domain cannot be transferred to another registrar without needing it turned off. Some go as far as maintaining it”on” unless they get verbal confirmation which it needs to be transferred.
Check the WHOIS information on the domain . Test it publicly on a Public WHOIS, like at ICANN’s WHOIS, WhoQ, or at your registrar. Make sure it’s correct, even the email addresses.
Years for precious domains (or ones you don’t wish to shed). It’s possible to get a “eternally” domain registration at Epik.com.
Request the registrar in the event the accounts access can be limited based on The IP address of the person logging into the accounts. Request the accounts if the accounts may be restricted from logging in by a USB Device, like a physical Titan Security Key, or even a Yubikey. In case you have Google Advanced Protection enabled in your Google Account, you may have two physical keys to get this Google Account (and some innovative protection in the Google backend). You would then have those Advanced Protection keys out ofGoogle to protect the domains on Google Domains.
Look at protecting your domain (s) using a domain name warranty or service which protects these digital assets, such as DNProtect.com.
Some domain name registrars, especially those who take domain Security very seriously, have updated their systems”behind the scenes” so to speak. It is more difficult for the fraudsters and thieves to steal domains at these registrars. Some domain name registrars do nothave 24/7 technical assistance, they can outsource their customer supportrepresentatives, and their domain software is obsolete.
As I write this today, I have been advised of at least20 very Valuable domains which were stolen by their owners in the last 60 days. As an example, of two cases I personally confirmed, the domain names were stolen from one particular domain registrar, based in the USA. The domains were transferred to another domain registrar in China. Both these companies who own the domains are, in reality, based in the USA. Thus, it is not logical that they wouldmove their domain names to a Chinese domain name registrar.
In the case of both domains, the Exact Same domain thief kept The domain name ownership records undamaged, and they bothshow the priorowners. But in one instance, part of the domain contact record was changed, along with the former owner’s address is present, but the final portionof the address is recorded as a Province in China, rather than Florida, wherethe business whose domain name has been stolen is located.
What tipped us off to these stolen domain casesis the factthat both Domains were listed for sale on a popular domain name market. But, these are domains where the overall consensus of the value would be over $100,000 per year, and were recorded for 1/10th of the value. It is too good to be true, and most likely it isstolen. The same goes for these domains which are supposedly stolen. The purchase price provides them away, also, in this scenario, the possession records (the WHOIS documents) also reveal evidence of the theft.
Digital resources, and ensure they are using a domain registrar That has adapted and evolved with the times. A Couple of minutes spent Wisely, securing your electronic assets, is critical in times like these. It may be the difference between your precious digital assets and web Properties being guarded, or potentially subjected to theft and risk.