How to avoid losing your domain

One of the most heart-breaking things we see happen is when somebody loses a domain name they intended to keep. Many companies have lost domains, including Google, Microsoft, the Dallas Cowboys, Regions Bank, and Foursquare. Most unintentional domain losses can be avoided by following the simple guidelines below.

Set up a process for renewing your domain names regularly
The easiest way to lose a domain name is simply by failing to renew it in time. Setting up a renewal process can be as simple as scheduling a recurring renewal reminder in your desktop calendaring program to warn you before your domains are due to expire. Many registrars now allow you to synchronize domains so that they expire on the same date.

  • Make sure your domains are renewed every year.
  • Set your domains to auto-renew. You can auto-renew domains for up to 10 years.
  • If your credit card changes for any reason, don't forget to update the card at your registrar.
  • Set a reminder in your desktop calendaring program and login to your registrar from time to time.
  • Synchronize your domains so that they expire on the same date.

Up-to-date contact information
Keep your domain name's contact information at the registrar current. Keep in mind that the administrative contact email address has the authority to approve a transfer of the domain name to another registrar.

  • Verify that the information in the registrant, administrative, technical, and billing contact information is up-to-date.
  • Use a permanent, secure email address for your administrative email address.
  • Remember to notify the registrar if you change your phone, email address, or physical address.
  • Create your password using a complex series of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Print your receipts, and store your ownership records and account access details in safe place.

Be aware of domain name scams
Never respond to emails asking you to log in to your account and administer your domain names by clicking on links contained in the email. Always enter the address of your registrar manually in your browser before logging in. Always log out when you are done.

Many companies send mass volumes of postal mail directly to domain owners. Don't be fooled by these scams. If you have a question about your domain, contact your registrar.

Opt-in for Whois privacy protection
Privacy protection enables you to prevent your contact information from being made freely available in public Whois records. Whois privacy protection prevents spam and fraud.

Two-factor authentication
2 factor auth is an extra layer of security that requires not only a password and username but also a piece of information that only the user has access to at their physical location. An example is a verification code that has been texted to a cell phone.

Lock your domain name
To prevent unauthorized transfers to another registrar, lock your domain name from within your account.

Antivirus / Spyware
To prevent key-logging software from capturing your usernames and passwords and delivering your information to unauthorized persons, install antivirus/spyware software. Update your antivirus/spyware software periodically.

Do not give anyone more access than they need
DO NOT provide your account login, password, credit card, or shopper PIN information to anyone, including your webmaster. Webmasters, developers, and web designers NEVER need direct access to your domain name.

Restrict access levels within your registrar account to prevent others from transferring or pushing your domain.