ICANN is the regulating body for domain names. It decides when new extensions (.com, .org, .biz, etc.) can be added and sets the guidelines for the actual registrars (Register.com, Godaddy.com, NetworkSolutions.com).

Before a few months ago if you wanted to transfer a domain to a new registrar, you had to submit the request through the new registrar then confirm the transfer through your old one. However, recently ICANN changed its policies so that the domain is now automatically transferred if the transfer request is not denied within five days.

Should this be a cause for concern? It can be if you don’t have up-to-date contact information on file with your registrar. If someone decided to try to grab your domain and submitted the request through a different registrar, if the domain wasn’t locked and if you didn’t respond to the transfer email to deny it, after five days that domain would be in their control.

There are two easy steps you can take to prevent this from happening. 1. Make sure your contact information is correct with your registrar, and 2. lock the domain. Most registrars offer this as a free service. If yours doesn’t, switch to one that does.

And if I manage your registration for you, don’t worry . . . I’ve got it covered.

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