This morning, I received this e-mail:
Dear owner of trinaallen.com,
I noticeded that your domain “trinaallen.com” expires in a few weeks, which means that it is going to be publicly available soon. I’d like to buy this domain name before it expires.
I assume that you are not interested in keeping it for yourself.
I can buy this domain for $60 plus any renewal related expenses. What do you think?
I’m not sure how many hits this spam will actually get with the misspelling of the second word. But, since this is the second time someone has sent me a spam about my domain name, see previous post., it got me thinking. Do I own my domain name? I should know that since I have a Web site. Feeling a little embarrassed, I decided to do some reading about domain names. This is what I learned.
A domain name is part of an Internet address. For example, google.com, howstuffworks.com, epa.gov, army.mil, stanford.edu.
A URL, or Uniform Resource Locator, is an Internet address that contains the domain name. It must include information to the left of the domain name, identifying the correct Internet protocol. Listed are some common protocol identifiers: http://, ftp://, and mail:.
For example, the domain name for my web site is: trinaallen.com. The URL for my web site is: http://www.trinaallen.com
How Stuff Works has several articles that I found helpful:
Because all of the names in a given domain need to be unique, there has to be a single entity that controls the list and makes sure no duplicates arise. For example, the COM domain cannot contain any duplicate names, and a company called Network Solutions is in charge of maintaining this list. When you register a domain name, it goes through one of several dozen registrars who work with Network Solutions to add names to the list. Network Solutions, in turn, keeps a central database known as the whois database that contains information about the owner and name servers for each domain.
So, after doing a little research, I learned that I own the domain name trinaallen.com. My domain name registrar is Yahoo!’s domain registration partner, Melbourne IT. They are responsible for maintaining my domain registration records and managing my domain renewals.
I also learned that anyone can go find information about any domain currently in existence at either of these two sites: http://www.betterwhois.com or http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp. Anyone with an internet connection has access to the registrar’s administrative, technical, and billing contact information.
So, I made my domain information private in the hopes that spammers will have a harder time finding me. Now the contact information for Melbourne IT is listed in place of my contact information in the public WHOIS database.
I was also rather taken aback discover that anyone with an Internet connection can see who links to my site, my traffic, and what the site used to look like as far back as 2004. All the articles and stories that I thought I’d deleted can be viewed there. How scary and embarrassing. It is a lesson that you can’t undo what you post on the Internet.