Most people don’t give a second thought to domain names. Head to any reputable source, such as GoDaddy or one of their resellers, and you can pick up a domain name for less than your monthly Starbucks budget.  But, if not purchased and managed correctly, domain names can put businesses in potentially devastating situations. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t realize the dangers until something goes awry. The question becomes, who truly owns your domain?

If you’re not sure, login to the account where you purchased your domain and look at the person and/or organization listed as the domain’s registrant/owner. If you cannot do that, you probably don’t own your domain. Or, if you see someone else’s name listed (such as a web developer, IT manager, or any other third party), you are not in possession of this valuable digital asset.

If your records get destroyed, if the third party becomes unreachable, or any other number of circumstances, you could be left in a situation that could prove catastrophic for your company, costing you potentially thousands of dollars in legal fees just to regain access to what should be rightfully yours.  There are three things you can do to prevent losing your digital presence.

First, ask the person or organization listed as the registrant/owner to transfer the domain to you. They can still be listed as an administrator and have the ability to make changes, but you will be the owner in case something goes wrong.

Second, request a backup of your website. If your website goes down because domain ownership gets taken away from you, you can at least get your digital assets back online.

Finally, go through a reputable company when purchasing any digital asset, to ensure this never happens to you. For more tips for securing your business’s technology, please visit

Robert Harrington is a local IT consultant helping SMBs manage, maintain, and secure their digital presence. For more information, visit the Harrington Technologies website at

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