Losing one's domain name is unfortunately not a rare occurrence on the web. There is even a name for it - drop catching. Drop Catching is the practice of certain internet users waiting for prominent web addresses to expire so they can snatch them up and use the already established brand of the website to grow their own business or sell it to the highest bidder.
Your domain name is part and parcel of your business brand and thus the need to protect it as you would your company name. So how do you do that?
First, engage the services of a reliable domain registrar. Perform a background check. Talk to business associates, friends and family who have a website and get tips on which would be the best provider to use. Go for a domain registrar that will not only assist you in setting up your domain name, but will also provide tips on how best to protect it.
An increasingly popular approach is the use of privacy options whereby your name and address as the domain owner are blocked from public view. Remember that by default, any internet user can see your contact details through free online tools. Your domain registrar can give you advice on what to do to protect yourself.
Note that even though you want to hide your contact details from public view, you must ensure the contact information you provide to the registrar is up to date. Most important is your email address. That way, you will stay up to date on any information the domain registrar would like to communicate to you or to its customers in general.
Some domain registrars serve millions of clients from all over the world - making phone calls or sending faxes to their clients is impractical. Email is the most efficient way for them to communicate. It is through email that you will be notified when your domain name is about to expire. Think about registering your domain name for a longer period than the popular 1 year. 5 or 10 years would be great and it will usually cost you less than $100.
Make sure your registrar implements the domain lock feature. This prevents unauthorized persons from changing any information on your web pages and deters 'poachers' who are intent on forcefully hijacking your domain name through a redirect. You can further bolster your domain's resilience against such hacking by the use of third party software. Such software comes at a cost but is well worth it.