Whether you’re a freelancer, small business or a large corporation, some of the most valuable assets you possess are your domain names. As an essential part of your digital presence, management of your domain names is crucial to keeping your brand or company’s image intact. Poor domain management leaves you wide open to multiple problems for your business and/or brand including website failure, email failure, reputational damage or even cybercriminal activity.
What is domain management?
Simply put, domain management is the process of registering, renewing, updating nameservers and securing domain names for personal or business use.
At the most basic level it involves tracking a domain name’s expiry date and making sure that it is renewed on time. It gets a little more complicated when you have multiple domain names that make up a portfolio. It is possible that with multiple domains registered, you may have several different registrars involved.
One of the best things to do when managing a domain portfolio is to consolidate all the domains with one reputable and well-reviewed registrar, such as Webnames.ca. If you’re managing a large number of domains on behalf of an organization, consolidating with corporate-focused registrar like Webnames Corporate that has security features and tools designed for large domain portfolios with more complex needs is advisable.
However, domain management does not end there.
While staying on top of domain name renewals is crucial, another part of domain management can include forwarding the domain to another URL, assigning new/different name servers, assigning parking pages and implementing domain security measures to name a few.
Why is domain management important?
Whether you are a one-person business or work for a multi-national corporation, domain names are valuable business assets and the online home of your brands. If they go offline, even briefly, it can have catastrophic effects on revenue, brand image and customer trust that can take years to recover from. While managing a few domains may seem like an easy enough task, the risk of doing it poorly is the same as a managing a corporate domain portfolio. We have identified 6 common risk factors that can increase vulnerability around domain theft and hijacking, DNS downtime, renewal lapses, phishing and brand dilution.
Being proactive about domain management and implementing best practices into the way you handle your brand protection and cybersecurity strategies will set you up to have a competitive edge with your online presence.
Domain Management Tools You Should Be Using
Over 20+ years we have developed a comprehensive suite of services, tools and security features for managing and protecting your domain name and associated services – whether you prefer to self-serve or work with our customer support team, have one domain or hundreds, you will be fully supported by expert account managers and technicians who function as an extension of your own team.
When it comes to managing your domain names and services, your Account Dashboard provides a comprehensive view of everything you might want to know about or access in your account, from upcoming domain and service renewals, to invoice history, domain transfer status, scheduled DNS changes, and much more. One layer deeper, the Webnames Domain Manager provides details about your DNS, web hosting, email and SSL settings at the domain-level, regardless of where they are registered. Connecting your domain name to external providers and/or services is either automated or conveniently takes just a few clicks, and every domain also number of options free of charge with each domain name registration: Domain Forwarding, Domain Parking and Email Channeling.
We also offer a free Domain Security Scan tool to assess your domain’s security risks, so you can better protect your domain portfolio. The security scan report will tell you 3 broad types of risks and how to mitigate them with recommended solutions:
- Domain access risk in the form of ease of domain transfer, modification, deletion or DNS updates.
- Domain registrant data risk in the form of registrant information that may be exposed in WHOIS results.
- Website HTTPS risk in the form of verifying whether the website at the scanned domain sends and receives data with SSL encryption enabled.
We classify the threats that are scanned for this report as “Significant” and “Secondary” to help simplify the assessment for you.
Domain Name Security
In addition to features like 2FA and account security PINs for identity verification on customer support requests, we offer an expansive range of paid services – many of which cost only a few dollars per year – to further strengthen your domain security and management strategies:
Domain names with accessible WHOIS information can be more vulnerable to hijacking and theft, which poses a risk to your business when you rely on your website to reach customers. Domain privacy is a core feature of domain protection that replaces your personal information in the public directory called the WHOIS, with a generic Webnames.ca contact address to keep your personal data safe and the ownership information for your domain hidden. The WHOIS directory is currently accessible by anyone, which means that hackers, thieves and spammers can easily find out the information of an owner of an unprotected domain name.
Domain Expiry Protection
In the unfortunate event that your domain names accidentally expire, we offer Domain Expiry Protection. Whether it be a credit card with outdated information, the employee responsible for renewals is on vacation or no longer works there or any other reason why a domain renewal could be missed, with our Domain Expiry Protection you are comprehensively covered for unintentional expiry that can lead to unexpected domain redemption and restoration fees, or worse, protracted and costly acquisition from a third party. Think of it as an insurance policy for your domains. It will safeguard you from credit card payment failures, keep your domain secure in your account for 1 year post expiry, plus prevents deletion and it stops your domain from being re-registered and used by another party or bad actor.
Registry Lock, Registrar Lock & Account Lock
These services are designed to protect business critical domain names and domain portfolios from unauthorized transfers, deletions, or updates. Defend against internal and external threats, changes to nameservers and internal tampering across three different levels:
- Registrar Lock – happens at the domain registrar level. The domain lock status can only be removed through a purpose-built, multi-step manual authentication process with Webnames. Even if you lose control of your account, domain transfers and updates cannot be performed without completing this verification process.
- Registry Lock – happens at the domain registry level for stringent security. Registry locks are effective even if the security of your account is compromised. None of the attributes of your domain can be altered without coordinated actions by both the registrar and registry. As with the Registrar Lock, there is a rigorous authentication process that needs to be carried out before the lock to be disabled.
- Account Lock – restricts control of your domain portfolio and access to your Webnames account to a single IP address, multiple IP addresses or an approved IP address range. It protects businesses from password leaks and unauthorized access when employees leave your organization.
Domain Name Monitoring
This service provides timely intelligence that can help you protect your brand and company reputation. With this service we can:
- Identify potentially infringing or fraudulent usage of brands and names.
- Discover if your brand is being used without your knowledge.
- Zero-in on sneaky look-a-like domains that make use of similar misspellings.
- Detect unauthorized domain registrations from within your company.
- Research new branding and naming opportunities.
- Gain competitive intelligence by tracking competitor brands.
Domain name monitoring is especially important for anyone who needs to keep a vigilant eye on their brands, trademarks, corporate names or other keywords in the domain name space, helping to identify domains not owned by your organization that may be assuming your identity online and using your marks.
Professional Domain Management Services
Managing large domain portfolios is complicated. We can help you maximize the value of your corporate domain portfolio with expert domain management, hardened domain security, strategy and consultation with our experts, a powerful dashboard, portfolio auditing and reviews, and financial forecasting and flexible billing. We manage domain portfolios for multiple top brands in Canada, organizations and law firms.
Advanced Management Tools
This toolkit of advanced domain management tools was developed with the needs of enterprises and IT-professionals in mind and provides organizations a secure way of increasing efficiency while maintaining master oversight over a domain portfolio and all of its moving parts.
Parent/Child Role Functionality
This feature allows for one account (the parent) to assume management functionality over one or more child accounts. The parent can manage all aspects of the child account without requiring a password. The primary benefit of this feature is to grant teams, or clients, their own sandbox account with unique login credentials, allowing them to access and manage their own departmental domains while also having the ability to oversee and manage that account if required.
The value of the Parent/Child account functionality becomes even more powerful when used in tandem with Account Roles.
You can also assign different user roles with defined permissions based on their use cases and domain management requirements. Permissions can be broke down into 4 distinct categories: Account Management, Product and Service, Billing and Other. Within each category there are several permissions and requisite capabilities that vary across each role. There are 6 unique roles that you can assign to your team:
- Account Owner: Limited to just a single account, this role has unrestricted access and capabilities within the corporation’s domain portfolio. This is the only role that is capable of viewing and modifying account settings, contact preferences, domain name settings, financial information and more.
- Account Super User: This role offers the most access amongst non-owner roles, allowing super users to view and manage account settings, products, services, billing and other users within the organization.
- Account Domain Admin User: While this role has much of the same permissions as the super user, they are unable to manage other users within the organization and make bill payments.
- Account Billing Admin User: This role is restricted to just managing account payment methods, making bill payments, downloading invoices and other financial tasks.
- Account Technical User: This user can manage the account lock safelist, general portfolio characteristics and most products and services. They do not have access to TMCH enrollment, GTLD Watchlist and are not authorized to complete purchases or renewals.
- Read-Only User: This role has access to view most of the areas of the domain portfolio, but they are unable to make any changes. They do have the ability to initiate purchases, but not complete them.
Account Activity Tracker
Through this tracker, organizations can maintain precise transparency over all the actions taken within their domain name portfolio. You can filter every action can by domain, username, timestamp and invoice number – among other details. Each entry includes comprehensive system notes updated in real-time for maximum clarity, facilitating troubleshooting, attribution and security.
Bulk Management Tools
Expedite the management of large domain portfolios with our bulk management tools. These tools enable users to efficiently execute bulk registrations, renewals, domain forwarding, DNS changes and more with just a press of a button.
Domain Mining Tool
Leverage this tool to discover trademarks, websites and product names that you should be protecting.
Domain Blocking Programs
Domain Blocks are programs designed by domain registries to protect your brand across different 300+ TLDs with brand protection programs such as Domains Protected Marks List (DPML®), AdultBlock, TrademarkSentry and more. It is a cost-effective way to defend against cybersquatting by preventing others from registering your brands as domain names, while providing protection from homonyms and misspellings across hundreds of domain extensions.
Your Best Insurance Policy
They say that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and we couldn’t agree more. At Webnames.ca, we have a well-rounded toolbox for small to large scale domain management needs. These tools can help ensure that your domains are secure and protected from the various lurking threats. Don’t wait until it’s too late! If you need help getting started, reach out to one of our experts and they will be able to recommend the right products and services for your business needs.