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Your domain name can be your most valuable online asset. Many website owners routinely receive communications from their domain name registrars.  Whether it is to inform a domain name owner of an upcoming expiration or special offers or incentives, it is likely that domain owners will receive communications at some point.

However, domain name owners need to keep a careful eye on any and all communications received, to ensure they do not fall victim to the practice of domain name hijacking.

Domain name hijacking, in its simplest form, is the theft or coercing of a domain name owner into transferring his or her registered domains from a current registrar to an unscrupulous one.  This can happen in one of several ways.

Oftentimes, a domain name owner will receive a notice though postal mail or email, appearing to be on behalf of the current domain registrar, stating that it’s time to renew the domain registration.  This type of misleading communication is often referred to as “Domain Slamming”, and it is something domain name holders need to be aware of.

Since these communications appear to be official, including the correct Administrative Contact and domain name information, domain name holders often assume that the notice is legitimate.  Therefore, domain holders will often comply with the communication, providing personal information such as contact information, credit card information and the like.

However, domain name holders need to realize that the vast majority of these communications are merely solicitations from outside registrars seeking to manipulate consumers into transferring registered domain names from their current registrars to the soliciting company.  Unfortunately when this happens, consumers agree to the new terms and pricing included in the solicitation, often costing them a significant amount of money above what they have previously been paying.

There are several steps to ensure that your domain name remains safe and under your control…

  1. Utilizing the option of Private Domain Registration when registering your domain name.  While it may cost you a few more dollars per year, this option will hide your personal information, and prevent unwanted and deceitful attempts to control your domain name.
  2. Utilize very strong passwords, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and specialized characters such as #,! and @.
  3. Register your domain name with an honest and reputable domain name registrar.  Ensure that customer service representatives are readily available to assist you with any questions or concerns.  If you find it difficult to contact a registrar, or there is a lack of contact information associated (often found with offshore and overseas registrars), look elsewhere.

It should be noted, however, that there are valid reasons why a domain name owner wants to move his or her domain to a new registrar.  Perhaps there is a significant savings in doing so, or there are ongoing service and support issues.  If the time comes to transfer your domain name to a new registrar, there are a few simple steps to follow to ensure the safety and security of your domain name transfer to a new registrar:

  1. Apply for the transfer with your current registrar, either through your control panel or by contacting your current registrar directly.  An authorization code will be provided to you, and there is a small time frame in which it must be used.
  2. Once you have received an authorization code, contact the registrar with whom you would like to register your domain name with.  Inform them of the authorization code, and begin the transfer process.  This process often takes 7-10 days to complete.
  3. Your new registrar should contact you, either by phone or email, to inform you that the process is complete and provide you with any pertinent information or details.

By using a reputable and reliable registrar, you can ensure the continuous safety and security of your domain name and website or blog.    If you would like Higher Images to be your registrar, contact Robin Dugas at 412-203-1996 or