As it can happen to the best, and as it did for Foursquare, the Dallas Cowboys, or even Microsoft (link). You might be interested in continuing the reading, as you will have a fantastic opportunity to protect your brand and avoid E-reputation problems here. So stay with us and grab a good cup of coffee (if it is that time of the day).
What are domain names
Domain names are user-friendly text elements that map to a numeric IP address. They are used to access a specific website from a client’s software. It’s the text a user types into a browser window to reach a particular website. Let’s take a domain name as an example: www.google.com. In terms of structure, a domain name is structured as below:
- “WWW” refers to the third-level domain (World Wide Web).
- “google” refers to the second-level domain; this is the site’s name.
- “.com” is the top-level domain (TLD), a domain name extension.
The domain name is usually a critical choice linked to a brand, a concept, a project, etc. There are various flavors of TLD :
- national TLDs (ccTLD). This TLD is a “Country Code Top-Level Domain.” It could be domains such as .ch, .de, and other overseas domain names managed by various registrars (Gandi, CSC, Route 53, etc.).
- Generic TLDs (gTLD). Some generic top-level domains such as .com, .net, .info, and .biz are well-known. In recent years, numerous new generic TLDs have emerged, such as .paris.
For the sake of simplicity, we will not discuss the decentralized web and NFT domains (but it is an excellent idea for a future article).
Some facts about domains
- Domain names first appeared back in 1966.
- The “Domain Name System” (DNS) was introduced on the ARPANET.
- Fun fact, “ibm.com” was registered on 19/03/1986.
Why do I need to secure a domain name?
The list is long, but we could start with the below advantages, as it is usually a best practice to acquire and protect all the domain names related to a brand :
- To avoid that, another brand makes a move on it.
- To avoid that, hackers acquire the domain and generate social engineering campaigns with a valid lookalike email address (email@example.com).
- To avoid that, an agency with bad intentions acquires the domain and initiates negative black-hat SEO campaigns to impact the corporate SEO score (.fr /.com).
So what can I do?
The good news is that you will find plenty of support online regarding this topic if you are willing to make your brand more secure. Here are a couple of recommendations:
- Never let sensitive domains expire to be available to competitors or hackers.
- When securing a brand, choose "all. doms," which will cover all extensions (yes, depending on the cases, it might be a bit more costly for the organization, so you do not need to do it every time).
- Search your brand on the web frequently to verify that no one has acquired a domain lookalike, negatively impacting your brand's image.
- Refrain from using the typical marketplaces to verify a domain's availability, as it could be acquired by domain brokers and put you in an uncomfortable situation.
- In doubt, contact the IT or domain teams within your organization.
- Stay up to date on social networks with the latest threat intelligence briefs.
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