Domain name theft - how it is done and steps to prevent it

December 29, 2007
Let's say you have a sudden insight on a name which is apt for your website and you wish to register this name as a domain name. You fire up your web browser and visit any one of the innumerable sites which help in checking if this particular domain name is available or not and to your absolute delight, nobody has yet registered your domain name.

So you decide to register it as soon as you can take time ... perhaps tomorrow because today you have an official deadline to meet. And the next day when you try to register the same domain name, you find to your dismay that it has already been snapped up by somebody else. How did this happen ? Was this a case of bad luck ? Maybe not. You may be the victim of a rogue company which has picked up your name after they intercepted your search the previous day. In effect the person or entity which has registered your domain name has stolen your domain research. The act of typing the domain name in the wrong place may allow these squatters to register the domain before you.

Jay Westerdal of has written an insightful piece on various precautions you can take while searching for your domain name prior to registering it. These steps help to a certain extent in mitigating domain name theft even before you have laid your hands on it.


  • Robbie Pence

    Perfect timing! I was just looking to register a domain for my blog,
    because my first post got 1709
    hits: the first day.

    How should I go about registering a domain? I found Spry through domaintools,
    but I was curious who Spry pays for the domain, or how that all works.

    Thanks in advance,

  • I was doing domain research today and had a domain name snatched up within 10 minutes of the time I checked it at a registrar. I suspect someone grabbed it monitoring Network Solutions' system because their domain lookup tool uses an unsecure http connection.

    I'll now only check domains at a registrar with a secure https connection - like Godaddy.