Effective today, November 12, 2004, a change has been made in the way that domain names (which is the address of your website) are transferred. It used to be that if someone wanted to transfer a domain name from one registrar, or a company that registers domain names, to another they had to get confirmation from the current owner of the domain name. If the current owner didn’t respond or didn’t give their permission, then the domain couldn’t be transferred.
With today’s change in policy however, domain owners now have five days to respond to a transfer request to disallow the transfer. If the domain owner doesn’t reply within the five days, the domain will automatically be transferred. Since transfer requests are sent via email, it could be easy to miss this transfer request for a domain resulting in your domain name being transferred to someone else. Now, you could probably get the name back by disputing the transfer, but that would mean costly downtime for your website.
Contact the company that is hosting your website and ask them to “lock” your domain name. It should be a free service, although some companies may charge for it. Tell them you want a lock placed on your domain name so that it can’t be transferred.
You can read more about the official policy change here: http://www.icann.org/transfers/policy-12jul04.htm
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Previously on our blog: What do your website and a billboard have in common?