WHOIS Afraid of the Big Bad ICANN?
This morning I woke as I do most mornings… to the sound of my phone ringing. The call was not about an inaccessible server or locked-out user account. No, this morning was a call to tell me that our email was down.
I got up and checked our website and found that it was also offline. Curious.
After some investigation and a few calls to the domain registrar, it seems that Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) had suspended our domain. Why? Did we do something awful?
No, we simply failed to respond to an email we did not receive.
On January 1, 2014, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) implemented a policy which required all domain registrants/owners to validate their contact information. Failure to do so would result in suspension of that domain. The domains are, apparently, selected randomly and once that email has been sent, you have only 15 days to validate.
The email is sent to the primary e-mail address listed on your domain registration. How do you validate your domain? It’s easy, as long as you get the email. Keep in mind that ICANN is requiring registrars to handle this. The process should look like this:
- When you receive the email, you will generally just have to click on a link in the main (so be sure that the email is from ICANN) and it will take you to your registrar’s login page.
- Login to the page and you should be at a site asking you to update your information.
- Update whatever information is needed and click the button to update \ verify.
- Now that ICANN is requiring validation here are a couple of things you can do to avoid an unwanted ICANN suspension:
- Make sure that the email address you have listed with your registrar is valid and easily accessible. If you miss the email, the timer starts and 15 days later, your domain is suspended.
- Use Domain Privacy. Domain privacy is a service offered by most host and it basically hides your information from a WHOIS (used to discover who owns a domain and provided contact information and where it is registered). ICANN will still have your information but it’s not out there for the world to see. This can also cut down on unwanted email solicitations. (Keep in mind that, for most hosts, there is an additional fee for this service)
Ultimately the issue was resolved. We updated our email address for WHOIS, got our validation email and are up and running. The process took about 2 hours but most of that was sitting in hold queues and finding the tech that know how to do what needed to be done.
Not sure if your domain contact information is up to date? Just click here to check. All you have to do is type in your domain name (without the “www”) and see what it says. It should look something like this:
Domain Name: YOURDOMAINNAME.COM
Domain ID: 12345678910_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.tucows.com
Registrar URL: http://tucowsdomains.com
Updated Date: 2016-12-12T17:59:14Z
Creation Date: 2013-12-18T04:18:06Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2016-12-18T04:18:06Z
Registrar: TUCOWS, INC.
Registrar IANA ID: 69
Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4165350123
Domain Status: ok https://icann.org/epp#ok
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Street: 2606 NW 6th Street
Registrant Postal Code:
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: person who administers the site…usually the owner
Admin Postal Code:
Admin Country: US
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax Ext:
Admin Email: THIS IS WHERE YOUR CONTACT EMAIL WILL BE
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: System Administrator
Tech Organization: Your Registrar
Tech City: Anaheim
Tech State/Province: CA
Tech Postal Code: 92807
Tech Country: US
Tech Phone: +1.5555555555
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax Ext:
Name Server: This will tell you where your site is hosted
If you need assistance, feel free to contact us and we can help you through this process. You can call us at 352.870.2034 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.