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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Keeping Your Domain Name Safe

Ever since the Internet started gaining in popularity, devious minds with a creative bent have found ways to cause problems. In addition to the other methods that hijackers use to derail your sales and your business — such as virus and DoS attacks — a determined Net-thief has one more trick: stealing your domain.

Domain slamming occurs when you're tricked into moving your registered domain from one registrar to another. In this scenario, you receive an e-mail saying that it's time to renew your domain. It even appears to be from your legitimate registrar. Unfortunately, a competing registrar has gained your information and is waiting to collect a domain renewal fee from you. Although domain slamming might be more economically detrimental to your originating domain registrar (they lose your business), it's still a hassle for you, too.

Somewhat more disturbing is the opportunity for a hacker to take over your domain by using the registration process. When a thief takes possession of your domain, you can spend years trying to get it back. Some documented cases show that small e-commerce companies never recover ownership. Whether your domain is hijacked for a day or an eternity, here are some common problems that occur when your name is stolen out from under you:

  • Reselling: Your domain name can be resold to an unsuspecting third party. Popular names can fetch millions of dollars, making domain hijacking a lucrative career for a thief.
  • Lost sales: If you ...

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