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Shielding Your Online Identity from Domain Name Thieves

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Web Hosting Geek

The domain name industry is booming with business as more individuals and businesses look to establish their identity online.  Being such a hot commodity also makes them a target for thieves of all sorts.  In this article we will explain some of the parties you need to keep your precious domain name protected from.

Shady Business Partners

More and more, we are seeing business professionals lose ownership of their domain name to a partner or co owner.  In many cases, the name is initially registered in one person’s name and with access to the account, the other partner redirects the domain to another website, a move that essentially puts the original company out of business.  More often than not, the co owner demands money or other type of collateral in exchange for the domain, using it as leverage to get something in return for something that could not be obtained in the context of a partnership.  Surprisingly enough, this is one of the most common examples of theft as domain names are stolen in this manner at a staggering rate of about 25%.

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Disgruntled Employees

It is very rare for management figures to be involved in the domain name registration process.  This part is typically handled by a member of the IT department but may also be designated to lower level employees.  When this occurs, domain name theft becomes a much more probable crime.  Should an employee leave the company on bad terms, they just might take that valuable information with them.  This could lead to a nasty dispute between the ex employee and their former employer.  While there is a possibility of getting the domain back, retrieving it is quite difficult when the important registration details have been stolen.

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Third-Party Partners

There have been cases involving developers supplying their own information when registering domain names for customers.  Some have even gone as far as to list the name of their company as the legitimate registrant of the customer’s trademark.  Should there ever be a billing dispute down the road, the developer then leverages the domain you thought was registered in your name to get their demands met.  More common is the vendor that registers a domain name on behalf of the customer only to go out of business, leaving the customer with no idea of how to renew the name or regain control of it in any form.  These are two very crucial examples because if the vendor folds or the developer becomes irrate, you could find yourself in the middle of web-based extortion and fighting an uphill battle for your online identity.

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Domain theft is on the rise and occurring far more frequently than one would expect.   As an online business owner, you must keep in mind that your domain name is a piece of intellectual property and secure this vital intangible just as you would tangible assets.  Fortunately, this is pretty easy to do.  Do business with a reliable registrar, obtain the necessary security features, maintain control of your account details and you will be much less susceptible to domain theft.


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