Too often founders jump into the process of purchasing a domain name in order to get their blog or business site out into the world without the thought of protecting their URL from hackers.
What you may not know is that your domain name could be subjected to being labeled as Spam or worse, cyber attacks. Here are three strategies to help add extra layers of protection to your domain name.
Search the Digital Footprint
Unless your domain name has never been used before, it could have a history. Before registering a domain name and putting out on the Internet for the world to see, make sure to check for any previous owners and how they’ve used that name in the past.
Natasa Djukanovic, CMO of .ME parallels buying a used domain name to purchasing a used car. New owners need to take the time to investigate its history and uncover if the domain name could cause them any damage to their brand and their SEO.
“It directly impacts the SEO of your future website, as backlinks to the domain can rank your website lower than you deserve. Your domain can have a Google manual penalty and could be marked with bad trust score. Even worse – you could be blocked by many anti-viruses as a spammy domain,” Natasa said.
To unveil a digital footprint of your potential domain name, start by simply going to Google and type “site: and then your domain name” to see if the name is still indexed. You can also use Norton.com or Internet Archive to check for historical spam operations.
Add Layers of Security
Using a registry lock on your domain name means that you can protect your name against certain security attacks and maintain authenticity.
The DNS Security Extensions or DNSSEC as security to the Domain Name System. According to the site “DNSSEC was designed to protect the Internet from certain attacks, such as DNS cache poisoning. It is a set of extensions to DNS, which provide: a) origin authentication of DNS data, b) data integrity, and c) authenticated denial of existence.”
The DNS is essentially the address book on the internet and translates your domain name to servers. By having DNSSEC, it can thwart cyber attacks such as phishing or spam by using digital signatures to verify each person going to your site. Hackers that use fake DNS can redirect people to their fake sites and steal information.
If you are buying a second-hand domain name or transferring one to your brand, make sure the owner has a valid email address in the WhoIs Database to verify it’s legitimate and not a scam. For you, when you register a domain name, make sure to enable the two factor authentication if the company offers that option.
As the user, make sure to plug in your email that is tied to your domain name and verify that it shows up in the WhoIs listings. This extra step will also ensure that your email is tied directly to your domain name and you won’t be locked out if the name is compromised by hackers.
Read more about keeping your data secure at TechCo