What to Do If Your Hosting Domain Name Gets Hijacked

What to Do If Your Hosting Domain Name Gets Hijacked

Domain name hijacking is the practice of altering the registration of a domain name without seeking permission from the domain name owner. To put it clearly, it’s the act of stealing a domain name. Thousands of domain name cases are reported each year. You might just wake up one day and discover that your website is down and has been replaced by ads for a certain brand. If you dig deep, you might find that your site is now owned by someone with a phony name and address. So what steps should you take if domain hijacking happens?

Go into research to get the facts about the hosting domain hijacking

Before you start making calls or sending emails, get to know the facts about the domain hijacking. Does the hijacked domain direct you to a live website or a landing page laden with ads? If that’s correct, get to know if the ads are related to the products and services you’re offering. If you determine that the website is not live and the ads are not related to what you’re offering, the only option is to buy back the domain name from the third party. If the ads plastered on the website are related to the products and services you’re offering, you can send your query to Google. The website will be brought down if Google determines that indeed the third party is infringing on stipulated laws.

Track the current hosting domain name hijacker

All information about domain names are available in the Whois database. You can easily find the fraudster on the Who registry. However, you might find that the domain name has a privacy protection, which means that only the privacy service (registrar) can identify the owner. Some registrars can assist you to identify the owner if you follow the right channels. But others will refuse.

Draft a letter to kick-start your hosting domain legal process

Any legal process starts with putting events in writing. Craft a letter and send out to the third party demanding that they return the domain name with proof of delivery. Also, if you were lucky to get the hijackers email on the Whois database, send the letter to the email address. You can send a letter to the registrar too, explaining your predicament. If you don’t succeed, you can hire an attorney and kick-start the legal process.

You can make an offer to get back your hosting domain name

Although this technique allows the hijacker to call the shots, making an offer to buy the domain name can save you time and money; legal action can be time-consuming and costly. Make a buyback offer to the hijacker and when you get the domain back, fortify your website security to ensure hijacking never happens again.

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