17 Jul 2017

Who is Holding Your Domain Name to Ransom?

We have recently been working with a business – a national company – that has just lost it’s 18 year old domain name.

How did this happen? A freelance web developer registered the domain name for the company back in 2007 for 10 years using his own contact details and Hotmail email address.

Soon after the freelance web developer moved to Hong Kong. And soon after that he changed his email address and stopped checking his Hotmail account.

When the domain came up for renewal, contact with the legal owner of the domain – the freelance web developer – had already been lost for a number of years and
a) The company couldn’t login to the domain control panel to regain ownership.
b) The domain registrar wouldn’t help because the company wasn’t the legal owner.

On expiry, rather than releasing the domain, the domain registrars sold the domain on to another organisation. Our client had completely failed to protect it’s digital assets and lost forever a very valuable piece of internet real estate.

How do you avoid making the same mistake?

Domain name ownership is recorded in publically searchable directories and can be searched using the whois tool. Sometimes the owner may opt-out of displaying but generally speaking you can get a good idea of the owner of the domain by checking the whois listing.

We strongly advise that you check your domain name whois listing at the earliest possibility and make sure YOU own the domain. If you don’t, it may be as simple as a friendly email to your developer to ask them to update the records on the domain.

Check your whois listing now using our online tool

Does the whois listing not look quite right to you – Get in touch now before it’s too late!

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