Domain Name Protection – How to protect your domain name from scams and other attacks?

Last Updated on February 17, 2024 by Ali Hamza

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can keep your domain safe from various phishing attacks by following ICANN’s security guidelines.

What are phishing attacks about?

Social engineering attempts are typically an attempt to take sensitive user data such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers. However, attackers can manipulate users into clicking malicious links, opening attachments, and other attacks through “fictional” emails and phone calls sent through social media and apps.

When users click links in spam messages, more often than not, the link they click on redirects them to a malicious website. In the case of domain registrants, this could trick users into opening up a legitimate website in which the cyber criminals can steal user personal information, spy on them or install malware on their devices without the user’s knowledge and consent.

This attack gives the attacker enough information that they may make alterations to the person’s private domain registration data and passwords; these changes can result in changes to the person’s web browsing. The threat actor could potentially redirect the domain, giving the attacker control over the victim’s web browser.

ICANN-phishing emails are the most commonly used type of phishing attack intended for domain registrants. The emails are often delivered without a proper sender’s address, and may contain references to ICANN and may even feature ICANN’s branding and logo. Phishing emails may present themselves to domain registrants as if they need to be fixed and restored, and they may ask for money.

In order make people’s online activities more private, a network of people who work for ICANN have developed guidelines for the public on how to act safely on the internet, and how to protect themselves.

First and foremost the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) never processes domain name registrations; neither does ICANN manage domains and they never charge any money to registrants. Therefore, the internet domain governance body never even sends emails directly to registrants about managing domain names, nor do they ever collect fees from registrants.

Domain registration and management notifications must all come from the same source.

They include:

Why I won’t delete users’ WHOIS data on this domain

Registration data verification request;

Domain name expiration reminder – a better way is to add expiry dates in an expiration reminder software so you get notified in advance

Domain name renewal request message.

The registrar is responsible for collecting any other fees relating to the domain, plus any domain management fees.

You may only send emails from the domain and can never use any sub-domains such as IANA, IAFS, RINA, RICAR, and ICAN.

Other features of a spoof include: attachments and a prompt to “open” them.

You should always check out the registration information for a website.

If you receive an email that claims to be from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), you should contact your sponsoring registrar immediately and verify the validity of that report. When you hear back from them, they will confirm the validity of the email and clear any concerns you get reading the fake message.

Report suspicious emails to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers via email.

This allows them to quickly identify fraudulent activity on the internet.

People are advised to forward any email with the subject line of “I have been scammed by” to [email protected].

Their team will work with ICANN and other relevant parties, including law enforcement, to address how to shut down the source of email scams threatening ICANN members’ personal data. By doing this, everyone should be able to stop email impersonation without affecting ICANN and help to protect the wider ICANN community.

ICANN recommends some additional steps for protecting users from malicious phishing:

Use different and unconnected emails for YOUR Domain Management and WHOIS accounts

To help prevent someone from accessing both from the same account. ICANN strongly recommends that you use different accounts for your WHOIS information and your domain name registration activity.

A domain service user can steal someone’s identity by using the same username and password combination that administers the account. In such a case, the fake registrant would have control over the WHOIS details of the host. But under the ICANN Guidelines, the information associated with the WHOIS database is supposed to remain intact for the domain owner and cannot be tampered with by attackers. This makes sense because if the information were changed, there would be no way for the registrant and their legal representative to prove their case.

Add a Transfer Lock

Transfer locking your domain name is a handy way of keeping unwanted activity from happening on your domain name registration. Some registrants put a transfer lock on their domain registration to prevent others from changing WHOIS data or deleting their domain.

Control Center for the host is the place where you will find the list of your domains, and there is an option for you to lock your domain with a “domain lock” if you want an extra layer of security. To unlock the domain if you need access at anytime, contact their support

Make a HTTPS-secured domain admin account

A new ICANN-inspired security guideline allows you to use secure connections when you access your domain management account with your domain registar. This will stop someone from spying on your communication with the registrar and stealing your private domain information.

Your domain privacy is managed using transport layer security (TLS) to ensure full protection from intrusions.

You should enable DNSSEC for all of your domain(s)

Being an extension of the DNS system, DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) is a protocol that reduces the possibility for a third party to manipulate domain names. This is accomplished by signing data that is stored in an authority’s DNS zone files.

To verify that information you find on a domain name’s website matches the zone signature, it must sign the email request that you make of a DNS administrator. With our web hosting platform you can manage DNS records and sign emails quickly and easily from your account control panel.

As the keeper of the Domain Name System, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has set out some helpful guidelines to keep your domain safe from online threats. Following these suggestions will help you to guard the overall health of the Domain Name System and its relationship with the government. As well, helping ICANN deal with phishing and hijacking threats, your contribution will add to the security of the DNS and to making the Internet a more secure place.

Read More: How could you move a cheap domain name to a registrar?

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