Everything You Need to Know About RDNH

Written by

Every business needs to take great care with its domain name. This is the word or words you choose to form your website address, literally your identity on the world wide web. Without domain names we’d all be stuck quoting hideously long numbers at each other in order to access a computer’s ‘IP address’.

So, what’s in a name? Well, quite a lot actually. As All Business demonstrates, your domain name gives your business credibility, shows that you are tech-savvy, helps to build up your brand and generally makes it easier for customers and clients to find you.

Clearly, you wouldn’t want anything to put this at risk.

What is RDNH?

Given the importance of domain names, it’s perhaps not surprising that they are sometimes the source of disputes. It is fairly common to see a business or individual try to claim they should be the rightful owner of a domain name registered to another user. This usually surrounds a user setting up a domain name that could be rightfully seen to refer to a business or brand that they have no interest in. It’s sometimes known as ‘cybersquatting’ – the equivalent of someone occupying your premises. These disputes are about people using your name and you looking to stop them.

RDNH, however, is related to this but with one subtle difference. It stands for ‘reverse domain name hijacking’ and refers to the process by which a business or individual falsely claims that someone else wrongly holds a domain name in a bid to try to force them to hand over the registration. This can happen after they’ve tried and failed to buy the domain outright and, as Cooper Mills points out, is known in the industry as the process of ‘stealing rather than paying’ for a domain name.

This is a potential finding under the rules of the ‘Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy’, which governs wrangles over domain names. An instance of RDNH occurs when someone has acted in ‘bad faith’, namely to try to get a domain that shouldn’t be theirs.

What to Consider About Your Domain

Given the risk to your business, it’s important to keep this in mind right from the very start. Choosing your domain name is just the start of the process, followed by building and hosting your site. The fact that this could be at risk means that it is worth keeping security at the forefront of your mind. You need to know that this sort of thing can happen and try to mitigate any domain disputes by choosing a robust name from the start.

Hosting companies realize the importance of this and can help you feel more confident about your domain. That why, when you’re looking at UK2 web hosting, for example, it will talk about the importance of choosing and protecting your domain name. There’s nothing wrong with leaving it to the experts, just make sure you know what to ask of them to get the service that you need. Know and understand the issues surrounding domains and you’ll be equipped should you become embroiled in a dispute.

What’s hot on Infosecurity Magazine?