Many business owners lose their domain and website to people they thought were trustworthy rather than to an outside hacker. A common story here is a dispute with a web designer who the company owner hired or a fired employee. Essentially, the relationship goes sour and the domain name’s registration and access to the website and email go along with the fired designer or employee.
Here are ways to protect your intellectual property.
•Register your domain and hosting plan yourself.
Most web designers are honest and aren’t out to steal your intellectual property. But when you set up a business bank account, you wouldn’t put it in your accountant’s name. The same holds true for domain names. Ensure the registrant name, administrative contact and all contact information, are yours.
It’s important that everything reflecting ownership of your IP be in your name and no one else’s. The only way to ensure this is to do these steps yourself.
•Keep your account information secure
Provide only the hosting control panel and FTP (File Transfer Protocol – what you use to transfer files for your hosting) credentials to your designer – this is all they will need. They don’t need access to your domain or the main account.
•Use the technical contact
Optionally, you can designate your web designer as the technical contact within your domain registration. This will give him or her authority to request technical changes be made to the domain. Make sure your web designer is only the technical contact.
If you’re not sure who is listed as the owner of your domain, find out for free by searching on http://www.webnames.ca/whois.aspx.
If your domain is not listed in your name, change it now and update your account password after the changes are made.
Note : An original version of this article appeared in Business in Vancouver on February 19, 2013