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Risk

9/27/2007
09:29 AM
Cora Nucci
Cora Nucci
Commentary
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Is Your Domain Name Safe From Porn Pirates?

Avast. Pirates be boldly thievin' for themselves any toothsome domain name what puts a glint in their good eye. Recall the pair of scurvy dogs who battled for years over the rights to sex.com.

Avast. Pirates be boldly thievin' for themselves any toothsome domain name what puts a glint in their good eye. Recall the pair of scurvy dogs who battled for years over the rights to sex.com.Globally, the internet porn industry is said to be worth $57 billion annually. Arrgh, that's a lot of dubloons.

Your company's domain name, or web address, also has value. And while the markets may not attach a billion-dollar pricetag to it (yet), for many small and midsize businesses, their domain names are a major business asset.

If you have not taken steps to secure yours from plundering porn pirates, beware: Web-address theft is an "everyday event", the Wall Street Journal reminded us this week.

Even Federal lawmakers are not immune. Visitors to congressman Ed Perlmutter's (D-CO 7th) web site last year were briefly treated to a photo of a bikinied woman and links proffering "free uncensored webcams," "local girls for sex," and "cheating wives adult chat." Pirates 1. Perlmutter 0.

What could Perlmutter's staff have done to protect the boss from swashbucklers? Experts recommend these minimal steps:

  • Lock down your domain name by placing a registrar lock on it
  • Safeguard the email address used to register the domain. Use corporate email, not Yahoo or Hotmail
  • Keep registration information on Whois up to date
  • ICANN's report on remedial actions is a 48-page yawner. For an inside look at one way pirates can scam the domain registry system, read How to Hijack a Domain from darknet.org, an "ethical hacking" group.

    Arrgh. They be the good pirates.

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