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Who is the Master of Your Domain? (or, How to Prevent Domain Name Hijacking)

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Earlier this year, I helped a client recover an Internet domain name that a disgruntled former employee had hijacked shortly after his employment had been terminated.

I prepared a complaint under ICANN‘s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (the “UDRP”) and filed it with an ICANN-approved dispute-resolution provider.

Seven weeks later, the provider ruled in the client’s favor, and the domain name was returned. We were pleased, of course, but my client had to invest a lot of time, anxiety and money to achieve a successful resolution.

My experience in this matter suggests that there are simple, low-cost steps any business can take to protect its domain names against hijacking:

  • List a responsible, high-level individual, rather than front-line staff, as the administrative contact on the domain name registration.
  • Ensure that the company, rather than any individual employee, is recorded as the owner of the domain.
  • Use domain locking, if your registrar offers it, to minimize the likelihood that a third party will be able to modify your registration.
  • Keep registrant, administrative and technical contact information up to date, especially in the event of a staff departure.
  • Establish procedures for a high-level individual to control domain passwords, and change those passwords immediately before terminating any staff who know them.
  • Keep track of expiration dates so you can renew domains on time rather than lose them.

Related post: Recover Your Domain Name, and Perhaps Some Money, Too

Check out all posts about cybersquatting.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law  +1 510-547-0545  dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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