Our Experts’ Tips for 2019
We’re now moving into the last weeks of 2018 – an eventful year for the domain industry. To mark the arrival of the new year some of our experts have shared five pieces of useful advice – as you’ll find out, a lot of their tips focus on ways to protect a company or brand from being exploited for illegitimate purposes.
During 2018, many new top-level domains have been rapidly growing in importance – .top has been the most registered of these during 2018. The emergence of GDPR has reshaped WHOIS and changed the way many organisations do business. Even more important are the reports that digital fraud continues to grow. This is a significant issue that we should all take seriously and make better efforts to protect ourselves against.
So, what might be important to consider as a trademark owner going into 2019?
Let’s start with an essential function that the search giant Google today sees as a standard for all websites – SSL certificates. Marcus Glaad, Chief Sales Officer believes that it’s good idea to review your SSL certificates to ensure you have everything you need. This is important both from a security and a marketing perspective, since Google now ranks websites with SSL higher that those without. In addition SSL makes visitors to your site feel more secure, which is especially important if you want them to make purchases or enter personal details.
Continuing with the security theme, we move on to digital fraud. Our support team want to emphasise how crucial it is to take a preventive approach to protecting yourself against digital crime. Elin Stridsberg, Tech Support tells us that even though it’s almost impossible to protect yourself against all types of fraud there are many positive steps you can take. One of the first should be to take a look at the resource records you have in the DNS zone files on your domains – SPF records for example (these are text files that let mail servers know who is allowed to send out mail from your domains). If you don’t have any SPF records, then there’s a serious risk that someone could send out spam or fraud-related mail from your domain. In order words, there could be a possibility of fraudsters sending out emails that look as though they’re being sent from your organisation.
Another important. proactive step in protecting your trademarks from infringement and fraud, is to shield the domains that you might be interested in, both now and in the future. Peter Leidehorn, Senior Client Manager advises that a good way to protect your trademarks is to consider the names and geographical markets that are likely to be important to you in the future, and secure the relevant domains in advance.
Deliberately misspelled words or otherwise similar domains are often used illegitimately – for example in mail fraud, phishing attacks or for spreading false information. You can read about some real-life examples here. Sannah Westerlund, Cheif Marketing Officer, recommends that trademark holders protect their companies by investing in a good domain monitoring service. By doing this you’ll quickly get information if domains that contain your trademarks (or words or phrases similar to them) are registered by another party, giving you the opportunity to take action to minimise the impact.
In spring 2018 GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) laws were introduced, one result of which was that many registration details on the WHOIS register are now hidden. In brief, registration details are those that identify the owner of a domain, and because of GDPR legislation much less of this information is publicly available. Johanna Gustavsson and Andrea Sjögren in our Backoffice department therefore recommend that you always have a non-personalised e-mail address linked to your domains. This is a safety measure that ensures important emails that require action, from the TLD registrar for instance, will be sent to a suitable address. A common pitfall in domain management is for important emails to be sent to staff members who have left the company, or who are on leave or similar.
We hope that this advice can help you to prepare for the year ahead. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us so our experts can help you further.
Thanks for a fantastic year, now it’s time to look forward. 2019 here we come!