|How Secure is YOUR Domain Name?
A few years back, when I registered my first domain name, there were only a few (if that) registration companies, and registration was a semi-expensive thing. Then, it cost $70 to register a domain name for 2 years with Network Solutions. With the increasing demand for registration services, there has also been an increase in registrars, as well as, an increase in companies that offer registration, and use 3rd party registrants. When you register your domain name, make sure to find out who is doing the actual registering.
I recently found out the hard way that my domain name (www.widethinker.com), that I thought was safe and sound in the hands of Avidhosting, was really registered with a 3rd party, BulkRegister, who had failed to notify me when the name expired. I found this out when I went to my website, and it was gone. There was nothing but a white page there that said "no such domain". I was horrified to see this, considering that I had spent a year of my life working on this site, and now it appeared to be gone. I was livid when I contacted Avidhosting, and demanded to know what had happened to my domain name. Their response implied that they had no idea. They simply looked in the WHOIS database (a database of domain names and owners free to the public) and told me my name was not pointing to their servers. I said..."excuse me, but I registered my domain name with you, how could it now be registered with someone else??". Needless to say, I was shocked when they told me that my domain name was registered through Bulk Register, and not Avidhosting, and BulkRegister should have notified me. They told me they took no responsibility for what had happened. "Its not the DMV's responsibility to remind you to register your car..." they said.
My next idea was to contact the new owner of my precious domain name, and ask if he was willing to sell it. Yes, he told me, for $500 (which was nearly 30 times what I had originally paid to register it).
Who owns your name?? Will you be a victim of domain hi-jacking?? Tune in next time for the next half of this story, AND how I got my domain name back.
Kaya Casper is a freelance writer, web developer, and entreprenuer.