Keep your Contact Information Accurate.

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At the recent board meeting in Rio de Janeiro, the international governing body which oversees domain name registration, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) adopted 'consensus policies' regarding the accuracy of WHOIS domain name data which could result in domain owners losing their domains.

The WHOIS database holds registrants' details so that a domain name owner can be traced by a range of people, including registrars, Internet Service Providers, intellectual property holders, law enforcement and consumer protection agencies. Accuracy of this data is essential to all of these parties. To reduce the ability of cybersquatters and people engaging in unlawful activities to avoid detection by submitting false data, ICANN's new policy requires that all registrants to ensure all contact information of their domain names on WHOIS database is correct at all time.

Many domain owners are blissfully unaware of the extent to which their domain name data is inaccurate, even in key respects such as email contacts - the very addresses which the registrars may contact under the new system to request a confirmation of data accuracy.

If organizations fail to respond to their domain registrar they risk their domain names being placed 'on hold' (temporarily deactivated) unless and until they provide updated information. Ultimately, the registrar has the contractual right to delete domain names where no response is received. A deactivation will result in the organization's web site becoming unavailable and more importantly a loss of all incoming email. A deletion means the domain name could be re-registered by someone else on a first-come-first-served basis.

ICANN has sought to balance such concerns by applying the 'redemption grace period' to any domain names deleted for inaccurate contact information. This is some consolation to domain registrants as there will be a period during which they can reactivate a domain name which the registrar has placed 'on hold', on payment of a reactivation fee.

Having said this, the possible loss of email connectivity for any length of time, which might result from a business failing to adopt a best practice approach in domain name management, is a gamble not worth taking. Furthermore, the cost to reactivate a domain name could be as much as over $200 per domain.

At W-Global, you are advised to check the accuracy of your domain contact information regularly and update them (especially the contact email address) whenever necessary. Failure to do so could result in your inability to receive our request to verify your contact information or any critical email notices (such as renewal notice) from us. You may update the contact information of your domain name at any time from our domain manager at: