Your domain name is an important part of your website and if it’s the name of your company, than its even more important that you protect it from those that want to take advantage of you. Just think about all those hours you spend writing articles, marketing your content and building traffic for your domain name to be stolen. The worse part is, you may not even be able to get it back.
Last week, I was trying to access a friend’s blog( Hesham of Famous Bloggers) that I read almost daily and found that the site was redirecting to a site full of spammy ads and services. I then checked his Facebook feed and found that his domain name had been stolen by a domain thief! The thief took two of his sites and they were his money maker sites. Image Source: Flickr
Somehow the hacker broke into his GoDaddy account and transferred two of his domain names to another domain host and then sent him a ransom email.
Here’s Their Email Chat
Subject: FAMOUSBLOGGERS.NET and THESISAWESOME.COM are for sale
I recently purchased FAMOUSBLOGGERS.NET and THESISAWESOME.COM
That seems you was the old owner of those names.
I want to sell those names, and I just want to check it you want to buy them.
About the payment method and price add me in yahoo messenger (bb.admanager) or get back to this email
Transaction can be done very fast.
Subject: reasonable price
999 USD for both.
This is you very reasonable price and if decide to buy them right now you experience minimum down time.
make your decision and get back to me.
Check here to see the rest of his chat with the hacker, GoDaddy, and Active Registrar Inc. I will give you the good news. After several stressful days, my good buddy was able to get his domain names back.
Quick Tips to Securing Your Domain Names
After hearing about Hesham’s ordeal and then talking with him, I decided it was time to share with you this nightmare he had to go through and give you some tips on how to secure your domain names. Just keep in mind, there is no full proof way of keeping your domain names safe. If a hacker wants it, then he might just be able to get it. Just make it as hard as possible to get it.
A Few Things You can Do to Securing Your Domain Name
Tip 1: Make sure your Domain name host, web site host, wordpress logins, and email addresses have different usernames and passwords. Or least different passwords.
Tip 2: Make your passwords Strong Passwords. Usually six to eight characters that are both numbers and letters with at least one capital letter in it.
Tip 3: Change your passwords regularly.
Tip 4: Make sure to have a private email setup for your domain accounts. Use Gmail or something. Do not tell anyone about this account accept for family and business partners. But don’t give out usernames and password to anyone.
Tip 5: Have an internet security package installed on your computers you use to access these accounts. High quality internet security suites will can scan for malware such as key loggers, viruses, and Trojan horses that can be used to give hackers access to your system.
6. Make sure your domain host has a security feature that will let you know when someone changes email addresses, passwords, or even tries to transfer domain names(this may not always work). Then make sure this feature is active and working!
7. Make sure your domain host has the option of added security to protecting your domain names. GoDaddy offers a service that adds extra security to the domain registration. So if you transfer your domains to them, you can add that feature to your account. If you already have an account with them, then log in to your account and click on your domain you want to add this feature to.
When I first heard about the domain names being stolen, I logged into my Domain host and made some changes and checked my security settings. After talking with Hesham, I am not very happy with the way GoDaddy handled his situation. But in general, they are great place to store your domains. Make sure you add the extra security to your domains and follow my tips. Hopefully you won’t have to deal with a situation like this.
If your domains are stolen, let your domain host know a.s.a.p. Then figure out where your domain is registered and contact that host as well. Read Hesham’s article on his personal site and latest article on Famous Bloggers about what he did to get his domain names back. If he left his domain host to deal with it, he might still be without his domains.
I do not care who you have your host with, it doesn’t matter how great their customer service is, in a case like this, you need to stay on top of things. In Hesham’s case, these domains were important to him. So he worked with both his domain host and the other domain to get his domains back.