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Think Twice Before Ignoring That Pesky ICANN Email!

By Heshy Friedman

icann-verify-your-emailAll domain holders get those pesky email reminders from their domain registrar, be it Godaddy, Register.com, Web.com, or 1and1, reminding them to update and review their domain name contact info. In the past, almost everyone would delete these emails. But ICANN, the organization governing the rules related to the namespaces of the Internet, has now changed their policies, and these emails can no longer be ignored.

The reason these emails were sent out on a yearly basis was in order to make sure all the contact info, including email addresses, are correct. If a domain holder’s email address or phone number is changed over the years, there will be no way to contact the domain holder as the outdated contact information is listed in the domain profile. So ICANN sent these reminder emails to check the domain contact information year after year.

The problem was that these emails were mostly ignored by the vast majority. So the domain holder information still became outdated and problems persisted with domains expiring without the domain holders being notified.

ICANN recently decided to drastically change the rules. You can no longer ignore these emails, or your site website will stop functioning. ICANN has initiated a verification process with all domain registers under their influence, to ensure that registrant data is up to date. A yearly message is sent out requiring domain owners to log in to their account, and follow the verification instructions. Failure to do so will result in the domain name locking up, which will cause the website (and in many cases emails) to stop functioning. ICANN also added a new rule to combat a proliferation of domain phishing scams. If a domain owner changes the domain contact data, their registrar is required to send an email confirming this change.

If you receive an email from your registrar to make sure your records are up to date, DO NOT delete it. Follow the instructions, or forward it to us if you are a client of ours so we can take care of it for you. Failure to do so will require the domain registrar to suspend your domain, as they are forced to do this within the ICANN policies.

This no doubt creates an exceptional burden for many website owners, and is especially troublesome for domain registrars, hosting companies, and webmasters, who will no double receive complaints from their customers that their websites are down. Why ICANN decided to make such a drastic change with such severe consequences is a bit perplexing, and will no doubt create a burden for many website owners when their websites and emails go down.

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