Domain Hijacking: How to Safeguard Your Account
By Dynadot Staff Writer
Fraud, identity theft, and account hijacking are on the rise. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to protect your account information. Here are just a few tips to keeping yourself safe online:
• Keep your username and password in a safe place.
This sounds like common sense. But you'd be surprised at how relaxed some people can be. Play it safe, and don't share your password with anyone.
• Choose a good password.
The worst thing you can do is to choose an obvious password. Bad passwords include your name or email, can easily be guessed by others, are composed of whole words, or contain information that is public knowledge about you such as your birthday.
The best passwords contain a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Good passwords should be nearly impossible to guess, either by strangers or close friends.
• Change your password periodically.
While we make every effort to implement the latest encryption technology available, there is an easy thing you can do to prevent someone from guessing your password: Change your password periodically.
• Treat your personal email account as sacred.
Your email is one of the ways we can verify that you are who you say you are. It is also our primary way of contacting you. So, treat your email account as sacred. Always log off your account and then close your browser window.
Think that's being paranoid? You're without internet connection and ask your boyfriend, roommate, or friend to check your email for you, thinking you'll change the password later. Or, you log in to your personal email account at work, and then walk away from your computer while co-workers walk right past your desk. Don't make it easy for people to hijack your email account! That gives them access to your domain names and hosting service, not to mention countless other online services (i.e. PayPal) you may subscribe to.
• Be wary while surfing the 'net.
If you're not careful, you might surf right onto a web page that secretly downloads a script to your computer. This ingenious code is evil because it captures everything you type into your keyboard, such as passwords and other sensitive information. Only visit trusted web sites!
• Be wary while downloading.
Same as surfing. You can never be too careful when downloading software or songs from unreliable, unproven sources. If in doubt, play it safe.
• Use a secure web browser and operating system.
If possible, avoid using Internet Explorer as your web browser, and Windows as your operating system. Both of these products have been plagued with serious security problems in the past.
• Follow Dynadot's procedures and use the functions we create for you.
Using the account management functions and following the procedures that we create, is not just for your convenience, but also for your protection.
For example, sometimes it seems easier to simply give your entire account to someone who is buying your one and only domain name. But that's a dangerous practice because the account still contains your old order information, including any credit card or other payment information. Even if you manually delete this information from your account, the information can still be retrieved from our old servers by a tech-savvy new account owner. The safe thing is to have the new owner create their own Dynadot customer account, and then use our handy "Change Owner" function.
Likewise, if you are buying a domain from someone else, don't just take over their old account. They can steal it back from you by appealing to the registrar and proving that they were the original account creator. Basically, they can successfully accuse you of stealing the domain by hijacking their account. Again, use the functions we provide for you in order to assure your account's security.
• Internet scams: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Avoid internet scams like the plague. For a list of scams, please see this Wikipedia article on Internet Scams.
While a Dynadot customer service representative may ask you to verify your username and email, our employees are trained to never ask for your password. So if you receive the rare phone call from someone who claims to work for us, and he asks for your password, play it safe and hang up on him!
Think you've got a good tip for account security?? Submit it to us by email.
Copyright © 2005. Dynadot, LLC. All rights reserved. Last modified December 19, 2005.