While I love a good user interface, great support, and a lot of other things that I think most reliable companies should have in general – when it comes to a domain registrar, security takes the cake as my #1 concern. Heck – what good is a beautiful UX if your domains get stolen?
When it comes to keeping your domains safe and secure at a registrar there are two key features that I think are an absolute must – Registry Lock and two-factor authentication.
A lot of people know about two-factor authentication, this means going beyond a simple password. Let’s be honest, passwords are stolen as databases full of passwords are hacked all the time, if you think a password is going to keep your account secure it’s time to wake up. Two-factor authentication adds a pretty serious layer of security to your account either by sending a text message or using a myriad of different apps like Google Authenticator, Authy, OneAuth, and the list goes on.
I won’t spend too much time talking about two-factor authentication because I’m pretty sure you all know what that is. What you might not know about is another security provision that is less common for domain registrars but equally important – Registry Lock. Here’s a high-level overview of what it is:
Domain name hijackings are happening more and more frequently. If hackers get access to your account where you manage your digital assets they can transfer or even delete the domain of your corporation, making your online identity disappear in a second. In addition, they could redirect your domain to a malicious website, tricking your customers into sharing sensitive information on what they believed to still be a legitimate website associated with your brand.
With Registry Lock in place, domain names cannot be deleted, transferred, or altered. Therefore, making such changes is impossible, as multiple parties must provide authorization in order to do so.(Source – 101Domain)
The power of Registry Lock is that it actually protects your domains even if a hacker is able to get into your account. With both Registry Lock and two-factor authentication you have best-in-class security that makes it almost impossible for a thief to steal your domains.
While a lot of domain registrars offer two-factor authentication, finding one that supports Registry Lock can be a bit trickier. When it comes to security the three registrars I trust the most are 101Domain, Go Daddy, and NameCheap.
I use all three of these myself and find their focus on security to be second-to-none. I’ve used plenty of terrible registrars in the past but I’ll keep things positive here so won’t name any names…but you can certainly Google around and read horror stories about people who picked the wrong registrar and paid the price.
Remember, not all registrars are created equal and while you might find a registrar with a nice shiny UX and ads in your favorite magazine, that doesn’t mean they prioritize security, it just means they prioritize marketing.
Like I said, I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus so I won’t share any of my own registrar horror stories but if you have some of your own, please feel free to share in the comment section below!