Identity theft and fraud are major possibilities if you are not protecting your registrar details adequately. When you register a domain name you are required to provide a collection of personal information, including your name, physical and email addresses, phone number, and administrative and technical contacts.
Often a majority, if not all, of the information provided when purchasing a domain name can be accessed by any ordinary user who is looking for information on that domain; for instance, whether a domain is currently owned, and, if so, who owns it. A search for this information is often referred to as a “WHOIS” search or “WHOIS data.”
Under the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (“ICANN”),WHOIS privacy protection services were created to provide protection to registrants with the intent of preventing identity theft and fraud, which can then lead to domain theft. WHOIS privacy protection is not a single service, but is more akin to a certification; ICANN calls it accreditation.
Once a registrant has stated that they would like to take advantage of WHOIS privacy protection, the service will replace publicly displayed personal information of the registrant with proxy identity information, concealing their identity from the rest of the world.
Many private companies are now offering similar privacy protection systems, hiding important data from general WHOIS searches and helping to protect registrants against possible domain theft or hijacking.
In order to keep personal information associated with a domain name private and secure, registrants can use two-factor authentication to supplement the basic security offered by WHOIS privacy protection.
Two-factor authentication is a security process where the registrant provides two means of identification that will come from separate types of credentials. It is often broken down as (1) something you have, and (2) something you know. An example of this is online banking – where you have to provide your bankcard number (something you have), followed by your PIN (something you know). This adds a second layer of protection to your account and reduces the risk of theft.
Whether you own a valuable domain name or have already been a victim of domain name theft, privacy protection and two-factor authentication systems can be a worthwhile addition to your online security. They will provide added peace of mind that both your personal information and your domain name are protected, and the chances of a hijacker accessing this information have been dramatically reduced.
For more information about domain name theft, privacy protection services, two-factor authentication and what you can do if you have been a victim of domain name theft contact Revision Legal’s Internet attorneys here or call 855-473-8474.