First New gTLDs in the Root

On October 23, 2013, ICANN, the organization that oversees the generic domain registration system, announced that the first four of hundreds of new gTLD extensions that have been applied for have now been added to the root zone file on the Internet. This is a significant milestone as we can now see that the registries have posted websites that these gTLDs resolve to, signaling that the new expansion of the Internet is now under way.

The first four new gTLDs to enter the Internet root are all International Domain names (IDN) – in other words non-english script. Specifically:

NOTE: The “xn--…“ text in the brackets are the ascii or English representation of these IDNs. These ascii versions are used in machine-to-machine communication protocols to request and deliver services related to IDNs on the Internet..

As of the writing of this article, ICANN has added additional new gTLDs to the root, and will continue to add new gTLDs on a weekly basis. For more info on these new gTLDs, and to stay informed on their releases, we invite you to log in to our new gTLD WatchList Portal.

In This Issue
First New gTLDs in the Root
Registrant Data Accuracy Verification Coming
5 Tips for Securing your Domain Registrations

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Registrant Data Accuracy Verification Coming

Earlier this summer, ICANN published an updated Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA). The updated RAA contains several changes that DomainPeople and other registrars are obligated to comply with in order to enhance the security of the domain name registration system.

One specific change that domain name registrants should take note of is the new upcoming registrant verification requirement that will come into play beginning in January 2014. This new requirement will obligate registrars to verify the registrant contact information related to all new domain registrations, and any future updates made to the registrant contact’s first name, last name, or email address within 15 days.

Our intention is to make this verification process seamless and easy for our customers to manage. The process will consist of the following steps, effective at the start of the year:

  • All gTLD new registrations processed through DomainPeople will be subject to email verification. Specifically, we will be focused on verifying the registrant email address.

  • When a new domain registration is received, DomainPeople will send an email to the registrant email address.

  • The email will inform the registrant that they must verify their email address within 15 calendar days of the domain name registration.

  • If they click the link within the email, we will consider this registrant verified.

  • If the registrant does not verify themselves within the 15 calendar day window, we will be required to change the DNS of the domain name so that is resolves to a new parking page that will list instructions on how the registrant can be verified and, as a result, the DNS returned to the previous settings (i.e. their site goes back online).

  • Once a registrant contact has completed the verification process, all future registrations using that same registrant contact information will be considered verified and will not be subject to the verification process.


5 Tips for Securing your Domain Registrations

How safe is your domain name registration from being lost or hijacked? As a domain owner, you should be aware of – and protect yourself from – a few common and some uncommon potential threats that could result in losing your domain registration.

  • Use correct contact data: Make sure that you or your organization is correctly listed as the registrant and administrative contacts for your domain. Do not allow an outside website designer or host to be listed as either the domain owner or administrative contact, as these contacts are used for notifications of domain expiry, and also to authorize domain name transfers. This could result in a domain being lost due to non-renewal, or by being transferred to another registrar.

  • Use an external email address for admin contact: Many domains are lost due to non-renewal resulting from a registrant not being aware that their domain will be expiring soon. This can happen when they no longer have access to the email address used for their domain name registration. DomainPeople sends expiry notifications to both the administrative and billing contacts of a domain as early as 90 days prior to the expiry. By having separate administrative and billing contact email addresses, you lessen the changes of failing to receive the notification.

  • Make sure your domain is locked: Domain name locking is a service we make available to customers to allow them to set the status of a domain at the registry to prevent the domain from transferring away to another registrar. The domain locking status is a control available to you through your online account manager and can be turned on or off at any time. We strongly recommend that you leave the domain in a locked status at all times.

  • Add DomainGuard: Our DomainGuard service helps protect against malicious or accidental changes to your domain information by requiring that modifications to critical settings are authenticated with a special DomainGuard password. Order DomainGuard for just $4.95/year from your online account panel and we'll send you a special password. Any time someone attempts to make changes to your domain name's critical features, they'll be prompted to enter that password before changes are allowed. Keep this password secret, and you can protect yourself from domain name thieves and accidental changes to your settings.

  • Add auto-renewal: Setting your domain to auto-renewal is one of the easiest methods of ensuring your domain will not be lost due to non-renewal. As mentioned in tip No. 2, if you are not aware that your domain is expired, you will likely forget to renew it, which can cost you a huge amount of time, effort and money trying to get it back. Our auto-renewal service can be switched on or off through your online account manager.

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