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One of the most important things you can do to protect your agency branding and Internet presence is to actively protect and manage your organization’s intellectual property – especially your website domain.
I recently received an unsolicited letter in the mail informing me that my website domain was getting ready to expire and offering me an easy way to transfer my domain registration to their company. I wrote a few years ago about Internet domain scams. When I looked at this most recent letter, it had the same address as the letter from 2017 but had a different company name. Also, the amount they wanted to charge was higher than what I paid but was significantly lower than 2017.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure you maintain control over your Internet domain name.
Avoid Domain Renewal Scams
- Make sure someone in your office knows who the domain registrar is for your domain. There are many different domain registrars. Network Solutions is one of the oldest, but there are now many more. This is the company that you pay your annual fee to. For the last 15 years, I have always paid my yearly domain registration fee for five years. That helps make sure I don’t forget to make a payment and have my domain go out to the open market.
- Make sure multiple people in your organization know your registrar’s login information. You never know when someone’s going to leave the organization with that information in their head. It can be much more difficult to uncover this information after the fact.
- Most domain registrars include an option to make your domain listing and information private. It usually costs about $10 to do this. You may want to consider this extra cost as your public name and address information is what scammers use to get you to use their services.
As I said when I started this, your agency Internet domain is one of the most critical branding and intellectual property assets that you own. Make sure you take steps to protect it properly.
What processes have you put in place to manage this exposure?