ICANN – Domain Names & Internet Security

This morning I received an email from my domain name registrar asking me to make sure my contact information is correct.

1280px-ICANN.svgIt’s that time of year. Because you are the administrative contact for the following domain names registered at GoDaddy as of 11/4/2015, ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (and/or the associated ccTLD authority), requires that we ask you to review your contact data and make any changes necessary.

Clients often ask me if these types of emails are legitimate.

The short answer is “I don’t know”: I cannot validate that the email received and associated links on the email are really from your registrar!  Always use safe internet security and email practices prior to clicking on any link in any email… (if you need a refresher, attend our Security Tips Seminar on November 18!)

The long answer is it is very important when you receive these notices to check your domains.  Assuming you know who your registrar is (if you need a reminder, check www.whois.net and enter your domain name) it is a legitimate and necessary practice to check to ensure your information hasn’t changed.


CSI Onsite recently had a client who lost two days worth of email because of issues with their DNS servers. (Internet DNS, in short, directs your requests to the right place when you enter “www.WHEREYOUWANTTOGO.com” into your internet browser, click a link, or send an email.)  When we attempted to login to make changes, we needed to reset the password.  Unfortunately, the contacts on the email were not up to date so the reset went to some unknown vendor’s email.  You can always prove that you are the legitimate “owner” of the domain and that you should be granted access.  It’s a long and painful process… in the mean time you’re losing email!

A few tips…

  • I always recommend to use an email other than the email of the domain for at least ONE of the addresses on file.  For example, if your registered domain is www.mydomainiscool.com, don’t use info@mydomainiscool.com for the registered email address.  Use a personal email address.
  • When you receive the notices, do take time to make sure the domain is up to date. The one I received a notice for today has old mailing addresses for two of three of the domains in question (I recently took over managing the organization’s web space.)
  • Register for multiple years if your budget allows.  It’s inexpensive to register a domain – under $20/year no matter what registrar you use so go for at least 3 years so you don’t have to worry about unexpected expirations (my personal favorite is GoDaddy.  Others at the office like Network Solutions.  It’s a Ford vs. Chevy conversation, really.)
  • Make sure, when you receive the email “your domain will expire in 60 days” to go in and verify the credit card has not expired and/or that you go ahead and renew.  You don’t want it to expire and go dark – and potentially have someone steal it away from under you.
  • If you are interested in privacy, most registrars offer private domain service where your domain contacts become hidden to the public.  If you do this – MAKE SURE YOU DOCUMENT YOUR PRIVATE DOMAIN ACCOUNT INFORMATION.  It is much more difficult to retrieve from a private domain service.

By the way… ICANN isn’t a self-improvement positivity company.  ICANN stands for “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.”  The organization is a non-profit organization accountable for the policies and practices of assigned names (aka your domain name) and numbers (aka the IP addresses used throughout the internet).   Originally overseen by the US Government, it is now an independent non-profit organization.  www.icann.org

Enjoy your day!

Mark Espena
Director of Service Operations