What if your online reputation was sullied by association with pornography and the more seedy side of the Internet? Then compound that with being practically helpless to correct it.
To survive in modern business, we all strive to build a reputation that emphasises who we are and the values we hold dear. Our reputations are extensions of us online and influence whether people choose to engage with us or not. No matter what size of enterprise you are, your online reputation will influence your success in one direction or another.
Consider a business called “XYZ Enterprises PLC” and over the years they’ve gathered domain names in their portfolio for the main business, for niche marketing and for sub divisions. They make the pragmatic decision that a largely unused domain with an old website such at www.xyzenterprise.tel is no longer of any use so it’s not renewed.
The domain then expires after the registration period is over and it goes into a grace period of 0 to 405 days followed by a redemption period of between 14 to 30 days. After that it goes into the public pool again and anybody can register it for themselves.
Here is a live register of expired domains – https://www.expireddomains.net/backorder-expired-domains/?o=alexa&r=d
Consider the dismay when the owners of XYZ Enterprises PLC see that www.xyzenterprise.tel is now a gateway site into a porn-hub, furthermore it’s now registered in Russia so a polite “cease and desist” is not really going to have the desired effect.
The new owner is using the good standing and following of XYZ Enterprises’ old domain to drive visitors to this illicit website. They’ll probably be open to a large Bitcoin deposit from you to relinquish ownership or you may choose to address this via the registrar for remedial action on the grounds of cybersquatting or abuse. I’d not hold out too much hope for a result.
The moral of the story is to play safe, renew your domains that clearly point back to you and don’t get in to a pickle in the first place.
About the author
Simon Thomas is a founding partner of Toucan Internet LLP; making a difference for clients looking for greater and unexpected outcomes from their digital engagement.
Toucan Internet have been custodians of clients’ domain portfolios since 1997 and understand the intrinsic value of “keeping your nose” clean online.