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Do You Have a Domain Name? Here's What You Need to Know (Part 1)

31 August 2017
By Trang Nguyen

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Part 1: Why You Need to Keep Your Contact Information Up-to-Date

Have you received an email reminder from your registrar sometime in the past year, reminding you to review and update your contact information? You should have. This reminder email may be long and contain a lot of information, but it's important that you don't ignore it. It requires action on your part to review the contact information associated with your domain name and make corrections if necessary. It's important to keep your contact information up-to-date for a couple of reasons.

When your domain name registration is about to expire, the registrar is required to notify you. This is typically done via email. If your registrar is unable to reach you because your contact information is not up to date and your domain name registration expires, it may take considerable time and expenses to recover, or it may not be recoverable at all.

Another important reason to keep your contact information up to date is to ensure that you receive notifications from your registrar when changes are made to your domain name registration. These notifications are for your protection, so that you can verify and confirm the validity of the changes made, or take appropriate measures in the case of unauthorized changes. Bad actors can use malicious means to gain access to your account and make changes to the information associated with your domain name registration to lock you out of your account and hijack your domain name. It is important to keep your domain name registration contact information up to date to protect yourself or your business.

What Can Happen if Your Domain Name Contact Information is Not Kept Up-to-Date

If you give wrong information on purpose, or don't update your information promptly if there is a change, your registrar can suspend or even cancel your domain name registration. This could also happen if you don't respond to inquiries by your registrar if they contact you about the accuracy of your contact information.

How to Ensure Your Domain Name Contact Information Is Up-to-Date

If any of your contact information (email, postal address, phone number, etc.) changes, contact your registrar to update your information. The annual reminder email that you receive from your registrar is a requirement under the ICANN WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP), but do not wait for this reminder. If there's a change, it's important that you update your contact information as soon as possible to prevent disruption or loss of your domain name registration. ICANN cannot update your contact information for you; you must contact your registrar to do so. 

Due to the prevalence of security concerns such as phishing attacks, if you have any doubt or questions about the legitimacy of emails about your WHOIS data, you can always contact your registrar directly. If you believe you haven't been receiving reminder emails from your registrar, you can contact ICANN at compliance@icann.org.

Want to learn more? Click here to learn five things that every domain name registrant should know about the ICANN WHOIS Data Reminder Policy (WDRP).

The 'Do You Have a Domain Name? Here's What You Need to Know' educational series is part of ICANN's broader efforts to help you better understand the ICANN policies that affect you, your role in the Domain Name System (DNS), and the role of the ICANN organization, registries and registrars in the DNS ecosystem.


Trang Nguyen