Millions of web sites vanished one day when GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar and web host, went down for several hours. At first, an anonymous black hat hacker (or group of hackers) tried to take responsibility, but on Tuesday the company issued a statement that the outage was caused by “a series of internal network events”.
Whether GoDaddy’s problems were caused by malice, incompetence, bad luck, or all the above, it’s a sobering reminder that it’s worth taking a moment to think about the technology that keeps your corner of the internet alive.
WHOIS in charge of your domain names?
Make sure you (or someone in your credit union) actually has control over your domain names and that the ownership information is current. You can use this handy WHOIS utility at Network Solutions to verify the information for your domains.
Make a plan to keep information assets alive and current
What happens if the person in charge of your domain names leaves the credit union or gets hit by a bus? It’s not pleasant to think about, but just as you would with keys to the front door, make sure that domain name registrations and access to any technical assets belong to the organization, not individuals. For example, domain names should be registered using a department email like [email protected] rather than [email protected] .
Understand who does what and how they operate
Do you know who’s handling your DNS? Who’s your domain name registrar? Who’s hosting your web site? Who’s handling your email? What the heck is DNS, anyway? If your web hosting company is handling both DNS and your domain name registration, will you have any problems if you need to move your site?
Check on reputations
Your domain name registrar is a pretty important decision. There are thousands to choose from, and they all seem to have different pricing. Fire up Google and do a little checking on the company’s reputation before you jump in, or ask a few techie friends. Same with hosting — find out who is actually hosting your sites, and how they’re run, and make sure you’re comfortable with the answers.
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