What if someone stole the domain name that your business uses? Cyber criminals are looking to bait businesses into internet scams and, if you are not careful, you could fall into their trap.

While most people take measures to secure their physical property, they are often not aware of how they should be keeping their digital assets secure.

Domain hijacking is when someone changes the registration of your domain name without your permission. This will lead to a loss of control over your online identity, emails, and more.

We hear you asking: how exactly do cyber criminals do this when you own the domain name? There are gaps in your domain security through which scammers can enter. Here are 5 actionable tips that can help you fill those gaps.

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Photo by Simon Abrams / Unsplash

Register the domain in your own name

If you are assigning the registration responsibility to a third-party vendor or agency, make sure your name is used as the registrant. This is a crucial element of domain security. By registering the domain in your own name, you will be its legal owner. However, you can list trusted employees as the administrative contact and the technical contact. Note that, as per ICANN's Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy, an administrative contact for a domain name has the authority to approve domain transfers.

Keep domain management under your control

Did you know that any change to your Domain Name Server (DNS) can lead to a failure of the email ID's related to that domain name? Even if a you are assigning the responsibility of registering your domain name to a third party, you should retain access to all domain related services. Your domain management panel includes DNS management, activation/deactivation of privacy services, and domain contact management services.

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Restrict access to website management

As a business, you probably have multiple people from a variety of departments that need to manage your website. Only give people limited access to perform the functions that they need to. Unrestricted access to the website control panel can be misused and lead to troublesome consequences. You can reduce the risk of account hijacking by offering limited access to members in your team based on their user type and relevance.

Manage emails related to your domain with sensitivity

A compromised email account can lead to loss of control over your domain management panel, leading to domain hijacking. To avoid this, keep your email management under control. Remember that anyone who has access to email management can create new email accounts, rewrite existing ones, reset passwords and share confidential business information to third parties. That's why it's important to keep your domain management panel separate from the email account that is being managed by a third party.

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Photo by Gilles Lambert / Unsplash

Beware of email phishing attempts

Even the smartest people can fall prey to email phishing scams. Internet frauds are rampant and even a single unsolicited click can lead to a domain hijack. Check the domain associated with the email address and hover over (don't click!) any links that are in the email. Use a separate email address for your domain's WHOIS listing. This will keep your primary business email id protected from cyber scams and spam.

By following the tips listed above, you'll be able to avoid domain vulnerability to a certain extent. However, you'll still want to keep a close eye on any suspicious activity on your website and email inbox.

Did you know? Rebel offers enhanced security features like Ownership Protection that secures your domain from inadvertent, accidental or malicious theft. Save up to 80% right now.

This is a guest post by Aman Masjide, who leads Compliance and Abuse Mitigation at Radix, one of the world's leading domain portfolio registries.