Are your domain names secure?

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Question: What would you do if you lost your domain name and had absolutely no way of getting it back?

This is what nearly happened to two of our customers recently…

Three times in two weeks we have had calls from customers asking us why their website was not up and running. Now this is very unusual as we pride ourselves on our 99.9% uptime rate as well as our level of monitoring. It’s extremely rare that a customer should even notice a problem with their hosting package, we tend to have it fixed before anyone would notice.

The customer’s issues took a little investigating at first, but eventually we worked it out… there was nothing wrong with our hosting accounts and everything was working perfectly.

So what was the problem?

Well, I will call it lack of knowledge. No, perhaps that’s being unfair… I will call it lack of time.

You see, we work with a huge amount small business owners, like you and I. Most of our customers either don’t understand the full extent of what we can do or frankly don’t care and just let us get on with what we’re good at.

In the case of the websites in question that allegedly weren’t working? Rather than allow us to look after their domain name and bring it in to our business and keep it safe under our control, they chose to keep hold of it themselves. The problem in these instances is that they had stopped using the email address that they had originally registered their domain names with, and as a result they had not received notifications that the domains were due to expire and.

Coincidentally, all of the domain names in question were of the local .im flavour. There is no option to renew these automatically like many other companies allow.

So how did we rectify the problem? Well, in all cases the domain names had completely expired. Worse than that – it was back on the open market and available for anybody to purchase – ANYBODY!

I simply went on to the name registration website and purchased them, with our own account details and under our own name. Anybody could have done this. There are plenty of websites all over the world that show you lists and lists of website names that are due to expire soon. All it takes is someone to sit and wait… then buy the domain name from right under your nose while you’re lying on the beach in the Bahamas, and you won’t even realise until it’s too late.

And there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it.

So what are your options?
Check your domain registration accounts from time to time. Make sure your personal and/or business details are correct within the account so that you do receive the reminder emails. Or, pass your domains over to your trusted managed hosting provider and allow their in-house processes to automatically renew your domain when it’s due to expire. That should allow you to get on with what you’re good at – your business.