Protect Your Domain Name!
Do you know who legally owns your domain name? Are you the contact person for your domain?
All too often, we have clients and prospects who have problems and legal tussles for control of their virtual property. You would never buy a house and register it in the name of your property agent, right? Similarly, make sure that you as a domain name owner are protected and that you are the legal owner for it.
First up, do a check on the ownership (in jargon-speak, it’s called a whois lookup). You can use websites such as Better Whois for international domains (.com, .net, .org) or for local Malaysian domains, use the MYNIC system. The whois system will show you the Registrant, Administrative, Technical and Billing contact details. As long as the Registrant and Administrative contact details are yours, you are fairly safe.
|QUICK TIP: It may be wise for you not to key in the email addresses for the Admin, Technical and Billing contacts as one of your staff, as they could come and go – designate a generic email address that you know will not go unchecked. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com are possible choices to choose from. The worst is to never receive your invoices, and have your domain name expire.|
Here are some sample screenshots of what the whois results should be, IF your company name is Integricity Corporation Sdn Bhd.
This is the MYNIC screenshot sample.
Via Better Whois for international domains, the results are like this.
Let me end with a story about a possessive web hosting / application development company. One day, Integricity was approached by a troubled person who was the troubled boss of a troubled company. Mr In-Trouble had engaged Troublesome-Co to create a software application, register a domain and provide web hosting for them. One year went by, they were trouble-free, but in the second year, Mr In-Trouble wanted to upgrade his website and make it more interactive. They asked for a quote from Troublesome-Co, but it wasn’t exciting. Then they came to Integricity and sought for our ideas – which they liked a lot.
When the day came for Integricity to move the website to their servers, Mr In-Trouble told our technical team that Mr Very-Troublesome from Troublesome-Co refused to make the necessary changes in the domain record (change the DNS servers) for the domain, and transfer the ownership of the domain to Mr In-Trouble. Of course, this was very troubling to Mr In-Trouble and rightly so. It all stemmed from him not owning the domain name since day one, and having Mr Very-Troublesome develop a personal affinity for that project and domain.
In the end, after some social engineering, coaxing (and paying some cash), Mr In-Trouble got his domain name back. Why jump through hoops when you can own your domain easily and simply?