Yesterday I wrapped up a four-part series on domain name dangers, but there’s one last thing I want to talk about: If I send email to an expired domain name, where does the email go?
It goes nowhere, unless someone else registers your domain – then that person can receive email from any site you signed up with using your domain.
This can be a huge problem for a large company, or for anyone in business for that matter.
Let’s say five years back you registered yourcompany.com. You hired five full time employees and gave them an email @yourcompany.com.
Now over the course of five years, they have used their email address to log into various accounts. Some of which may be corporate web accounts, domain registration accounts and hosting, social media accounts, and even retirement and personal banking accounts.
Now let’s say after five years you let that domain expire. Maybe you’re out of business, maybe you changed your name, or maybe you just acquired a simpler domain name.
That domain is going to go back on the market and someone is going to have the option to buy it at auction, or re-register the name once it’s released. Once the domain is in their hands, all they have to do is create, whats is called a catch-all email account. This takes any email sent to yourcompany.com and receives in an inbox. They can start receiving regular news emails from any accounts your employees had signed up for.
The danger shows it’s face when you realize that all they have to do is click on the “I forgot my password” to have a password reset emailed to the catchall inbox. From there, they can take full control over your facebook account, web hosting account, or any other service that any of your employees signed up for.
So before you let your domain expire, be sure to remove your email addresses from any related online accounts. Now if you’re running a large company make sure you have a strict email policy in place so all employees know not to use their email to create accounts anywhere on the web unless they get it approved through you.
Okay – I promise, this is the last episode of domain name danger!