The internet is a wonderful invention that has become an indispensable asset for businesses. However, the vastness of the internet is also a pitfall, which makes it difficult to govern and vulnerable to threats. One such threat that your company website faces is domain name hijacking. 

This occurs when a third party wrongfully takes control of a domain name from the rightful owner. The intention behind domain name hijacking is usually malicious. It may be used to drive traffic to another website or sold on the black market. It may also simply be jealousy where a competitor is envious of a nice domain name.

From keeping customers in the loop to increasing revenue, in today’s world, a website plays a crucial role in running a business. So losing control over your website and online presence is a serious matter of concern.

If your domain name has been hijacked, it’s crucial to move swiftly. Here are a few things you can do to recover it. 

Confirm if Your Domain Name Was Hijacked

Before you start panicking, make sure your domain name was actually transferred away from you. Usually, you need to pay an annual fee to renew your registration. Failure to make this payment can cause your domain name to expire. This means the domain name is back on the market and open for others to register. If someone decides to register it, they will become the rightful owner of the domain name and all the emails that would have come to you, will go to the new owner. That’s why we recommend registering your domain for as long as you can instead of renewing it annually. 

In those cases, your domain name wasn’t hijacked but rather it was lost to someone else because it was not renewed on time. On the other hand, if your domain name hasn’t expired but someone has gained wrongful access to either transfer the domain away from you or to take control of the website on the domain, you should take immediate action.

Get in Touch with Your Registrar

Check the WHOIS records of the domain to determine who owns the domain name. If you’re certain that your domain name was hijacked, the first thing you should do is inform your domain registrar. Keep asking for updates to ensure they are taking the necessary measures to get to the bottom of this. If it was wrongly transferred away from you there are some immediate steps you can take to recover the domain. 

Involve a Lawyer

You might not be familiar with the laws pertaining to recovering a hijacked domain name so involve an experienced lawyer that specialises in domain name disputes.

They can launch a .auDRP or UDRP complaint, which is often faster and cheaper than litigation.

Legal experts can also help you with patent infringement in Australia.

Take Precautions in Future

Once you regain control over your domain name, it’s important to take necessary precautions to avoid such issues in the future. In addition to registering the domain name for at least five years, you should lock your domain name so that it can’t be transferred without a password and always use Multifactor Authentication to protect your accounts. 

Final Words

Losing access to your domain name can be detrimental to your business, especially for e-commerce operations. The process of recovering your domain name can take time, and you should take action immediately.

Your Trusted Business Law Partners

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Commercial, Litigation & Intellectual Property Lawyers based in Brisbane Servicing Australia