Don’t Let Go of Old Domain Names

There are times when it is necessary to acquire a new domain name. It is a common, but dangerous, practice to allow old domain names to expire. Recently, abanded domain names have been targetted by cybercriminals who use them to set up fake e-commerce sites.  With these fake e-commerce sites, criminals can steal the credit card details from unexpecting online shoppers. Failure to pay the annual renewal fee on your domain name may result end up being costly for you and others.

Unexpected Domain Name Loss

Sometimes, domains can be lost unexpectedly.  Maybe you have relied on an automatic-renewal option for your domain but forgot to keep your credit card information up to date. This simple mistake can quickly turn into your domain name expiring and being purchased by someone else.

Reasons Why You Should Protect An Old Domain Name

Email is a key communication method for most businesses. Email addresses are tied to your domain name, like johndoe@YOURDOMAIN.com. Cybercriminals are on the lookout for recently expired domains. All they need to do is re-register the domain name, and that is it. With no extra work, your clients will email that old domain’s email address and unknowingly provide hackers with information.

By letting that old domain name expire, you could be giving cybercriminals access to mailing lists, sensitive data, and more. In theory, they could set up a website that looks just like an online store and sells products that don’t exist. They can dupe your customers into submitting payment for fake products that never ship. Not only will this annoy your customers, but it will also damage your credibility.

In addition, once a criminal has control of your domain name, they can start obtaining access to not only your email lists but also, social media accounts, such as Instagram, Facebook, or Linkedin.  How? You may ask.  When you signed up for your social media accounts, you most likely used your email associated with your domain name.  Once criminals have access to your email, they can change passwords and update email addresses on your social media

Why is This Happening

By taking over your domain name and setting up an online store to sell products that do not exist, criminals can simply siphon payment card data from customers.  According to a recent report by Flashpoint and RiskIQ,  they have “observed more than 800 sites hosting these brand impersonation/skimming stores since June 2018”.

Protecting Your Domain

Because domain names are relatively inexpensive, we recommend hanging onto them. Have the old domain redirect to your new website. This will protect both you and your customers. If you need help purchasing a new domain or setting up a redirect from an old domain to a new one, feel free to contact us by filling out the form below. A CourseVector technician will be happy to help.

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