“Do you know where your children are?” Do you remember that PSA that used to run in the evenings? As a web developer whose seen some unfortunate clients lose their domains or get scammed out of some cash, I’ll ask “Do you know where your domain is registered?”
It’s important to know where your domain is registered and to monitor the contact information on the domain to ensure that you retain control. In many cases your domain name is closely tied to your brand so you should be very protective of maintaining that domain. I’ve seen customer’s lose domain names because they changed their e-mail address and didn’t receive the renewal information. And I’ve seen domains transferred to different regsitries in response to unscrupulous sales techniques.
Most domain registries handle renewals with automatic credit card billing and e-mail notices. If your credit card expires and the e-mail on account with the domain registry is no longer in effect the domain will expire and you may lose your domain permanently if the problem is not caught in time. Make sure you keep your contact information current and do not ignore renewal notices from your domain registrar.
There are a few unscrupulous domain registry companies out there whose practice is to send transfer solicitations that look like domain renewal invoices to domain owners. Domain owners sometimes miss the text that says that by sending a check it authorizes them to transfer the domain to their company. And since the domain owner doesn’t remember who is their domain registrar, they assume the invoice is legitimate and they pay the bill. The company doesn’t transfer ownership–you’ll still own the domain–but why change your domain registration company and pay a higher rate in the process?
In closing, if you don’t know where your domain is registered, find out now, before it’s too late.