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Help protect your domain: Avoid these common mistakes

Sara Howard
Smarter Writer

As a business owner and writer, Sara Howard has first-hand experience in marketing, cash flow management and technology

Sara Howard
Smarter Writer

As a business owner and writer, Sara Howard has first-hand experience in marketing, cash flow management and technology

A domain name is a major business asset, not one that you can simply set and forget.

If you spend a lot of time and money marketing your domain name, spend a little time reading about the common mistakes that are easy to avoid.

www url being typed into search bar Domain names are a key asset for businesses with an online presence.

1. Leaving similar domains on the table
The last thing you want is to have another business benefitting from your marketing, so make sure you snap up all the variants of your domain.
This protects against cyber squatters who make a living registering similar domain names in bad faith. They generate revenue from advertising a competing service or attempting to sell the domain name to an eligible Australian registrant at a grossly inflated price.

Plan for typos and confusion

If your business name is easily misspelt, register the common misspellings. And if it includes a number, register the digit and the word. For example, when Big 4 Holiday Parks web address is spoken on the phone or on a radio ad, the listener could be confused. They will find what they are looking for at www.big4.com.au but not at www.bigfour.com.au (where they find the big four banks instead).

Secure all relevant suffixes

A suffix is the information right of the dot in web addresses ‑ .net, .org, .biz. As an Australian business, you should definitely snap up the ‘.com.au’ suffix plus anything else relevant to your business.

Point them all to your website

Be sure to redirect all domains to your main website.  

2. Letting your domain name leave with your staff

The domain name is the business owner’s responsibility. You cannot risk losing domain logins and passwords when your marketing or IT staff leave – what happens if renewals go to their unchecked email address?

Register the domain in your name using your email address – or a general business address that is always checked by someone. That way you’ll never miss important information about payments required, security breaches, alerts or updates.

3. Not ticking the auto-renew option when registering your domain

If you’re not sure if the auto-renew option is activated on every domain you own, log in to your domain registrar account and double-check. You really don’t want to lose your domain just because you forgot to pay the bill.

Just imagine the damage that could do to your business. Company emails using that domain name will not be accessible, as will any service that links to your site. This could take hours, days or even weeks to fix – and it could be expensive.

4. Not keeping logins and passwords secure

Make sure all your passwords offer the strongest security. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many business owners use the same password for every system in their business. Adding your company name to a few digits is not going to stump a hacker. Domain security is a real issue, with many websites having their home page hacked or domain names commandeered. Take stock of how many people know the domain password. If it poses a risk, login to your domain registrar account and change it – now, before someone else does. Your domain name is the online front door for your business, so make sure you take good care of it. Ask your domain registrar if you need any further advice.

5. Not registering your domain name with a trusted partner

As with all your business assets, you need to be sure your domain name is in safe hands. In the online marketplace, it can be difficult to identify the cowboys and the scammers. To be sure, register your domain with a company you know you can trust, like Telstra. Visit the Telstra Marketplace to secure your domain name.

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This article was originally published on this 08/03/2017.

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