Since people can access any information through the internet, it is crucial to understand and implement cybersecurity measures. It is the practice of securing personal data, networks, and systems from cyberattacks.
There are numerous types of cyberattacks, which mainly target unsuspecting website owners and companies. One of them is domain name phishing, which is tricky to identify as the attack attempts are disguised as legitimate messages.
Therefore, avoiding and preventing domain name phishing attacks are an important element of cybersecurity. That’s why we will discuss what is domain name phishing and why people easily fall for this attack.
By the end of this article, you’ll know how to protect yourself and your business from domain name phishing.
What Is Domain Name Phishing?
Domain name phishing is a common cybercrime that attempts to obtain account details by tricking website owners into clicking links in phishing emails. Usually, the attackers pretend to be their domain registrar.
For example, you receive an email containing a link about a domain name security check or domain name renewal, which requires providing account information.
If you click the link and give them those details, the attackers might change your login credentials, locking you out of the account. As a result, you are no longer in control of the domain name and, possibly, your website.
For example, if you run an eCommerce business, you can experience a significant financial loss. The attacker can completely change your site’s content, creating a scam website. Or, trick customers into believing they are actually buying your products or services but instead making fraudulent payments to the attackers.
How to Avoid Domain Name Phishing Scams
It is highly recommended that you stay vigilant when accessing information online, such as checking emails, opening links, and downloading files.
To protect your site and business, it’s also necessary to Implement security practices such as:
1. Choose a Credible Domain Registrar
Domain names are important assets for any online business as they represent their brand and help visitors access their website. So, when it comes to how to buy a domain name, the first tip is finding a reliable domain registrar.
One of the main features to look for when choosing a reputable domain registrar is security services that help protect the domain name registrants’ personal data and the domain name itself.
Check whether your domain registrar has domain registration features like a domain registry lock.
Also, configure and enable DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) to further protect your domain from cyberattacks. It gives your domain name an extra security layer by attaching Digital Signatures (DS) records to it.
2. Enable Auto-Renewal for Your Domain
A common domain phishing attack involves making website owners click on phishing emails containing fake domain name renewal information.
One option to avoid this type of domain scam is to set a reminder on your calendar with your domain renewal date. Alternatively, enable domain auto-renewal.
Doing so, you will no longer have to worry about manually renewing your domain name, as it ensures continual usage of your domain name services.
Activating domain auto-renewal can be done via your domain registrar account. Prepare an active credit card for the payment method and follow the provider’s instructions, as setting up the domain auto-renewal differs depending on the registrar.
If you are unsure, you can always contact the domain registrar customer service to help you enable the domain auto-renewal.
3. Lock Your Domain Name
Domain lock is a security feature that helps protect your domain name from unauthorized domain transfers. It is an important feature to shield you from a domain phishing attack by preventing your DNS from being modified.
By default, your domain name is locked by the domain registrar. You can disable the domain lock if you need to transfer it to another registrar and re-enable it once the transfer is complete.
However, some domain endings or extensions don’t allow domain locking. Check whether your domain name supports the domain lock feature by looking at its WHOIS records. Additionally, contact the customer service on your domain registrar for more information.
4. Implement Two-Factor Authentication
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) provides an extra layer of security to your domain name account. When there is a login attempt, the registrar asks a security question, unique code, or another piece of information to confirm your identity.
If your domain registrar supports 2FA, you can enable it via your domain dashboard. Usually, you’ll need to integrate your domain account name with 2FA software like Authy, LastPass, or Google Authenticator.
If you have trouble activating the 2FA, reach out to the registrar’s customer service team.
The Reasons People Fall for Domain Name Phishing Scams
The main reason people fall for domain name phishing scams is a lack of security awareness. In most cases, businesses do not provide enough cybersecurity training for their employees.
If one employee clicks a malicious link or downloads a malicious file, it may compromise the company’s entire system.
Therefore, schedule regular cybersecurity training sessions with your team members to educate and inform them why cybersecurity is important for a successful business.
Cybersecurity training platforms like KnowBe4 provide training about data protection and simulate phishing attacks, helping to increase cybersecurity awareness among your employees.
A domain name phishing scam is a dangerous cyberattack – it targets all types of websites, from personal websites to online businesses.
Therefore, increasing cybersecurity awareness and implementing the best practices are crucial to preventing phishing attacks and domain name scams.
For a business, having regular training sessions about data protection and cybersecurity is essential to spread cybersecurity awareness and minimize threats.
To sum up, here is a recap of the main steps to take to prevent domain name phishing attacks:
- Choose a credible domain registrar.
- Enable domain name auto-renewal.
- Consider locking your domain name.
- Incorporate a two-factor authentication method.