Staying one step ahead of the next scam or fake site that targets your brand or customers requires constant vigilance. Just like a Spring Cleaning ritual that forces you to organize and take stock of the things that have accumulated in your home or office, the same routine can help you protect your online digital presence.

American companies have lost over $2 billion dollars over the last 2 years from scams that use fake domains as a lure to entice executives to hand over critical information and financial passwords. In many of these cases, simply having standard procedures and protocols for protecting your business could have prevented the fraud.

Furthermore, these scams are becoming more sophisticated and professional as they reap larger rewards. Thus, there is no better time than today to start your Spring Cyber-Cleaning.

To get started, we recommend the following initial steps:

  1. Early warning detection: Make sure that your business, particularly if it is a web-facing business, has a system for detecting fake websites and social monitors. Early detection can keep users and employees from being confused and prevent on-going fraud.
  2. A dormant domain is not a dead one: If some person or entity has registered a domain that mimics or looks/sounds like your business, just because there is no site associated with it does not mean it is a safe site. Often, domains like these can be recycled, sold, or used later on by scammers. Many platforms watch only newly registered domains, so scammers know they can sit back and wait.
  3. Does my company own its domains?: Very often, larger companies have divisions or sections that may be responsible for registering or protecting their own domains or internet properties. In such cases, it is important, company-wide, to make sure that the registration procedure is unified or standardized to ensure the company itself owns the domains and not the individuals registering the domain. To this end, make it standard practice to have checks-balances across divisions and have contract language in every employee agreement that makes every domain and/or social registration the property of the company.
  4. Stay up on the new spaces: There are over a 1,000 new domains that have emerged online in the last year, creating new opportunities and perils for companies. Review the new registries or talk to a company (like DomainSkate) that can tell you what you should be doing in the space, and how you can defend your business from scammers.

“Spring Cleaning” doesn’t mean throwing all of your stuff into a closet or a drawer to keep it out of sight and out of mind — it will resurface and require your attention.  The same goes for Spring Cyber-Cleaning. Remember that a dormant domain is not dead and that it’s crucial to keep an eye on these types of events that can become problematic. Cleaning up your brand protection needs to be done effectively to ensure your brand stays clean online, so remember to think ahead and have a proactive system in place to remain organized.

Ready to do a bit of Spring Cyber-Cleaning for your brand? Request a Free Brand Protection Consultation today.

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