NiRA Raises Alarm Over Cyber-Squatting In Nigeria

By Emmanuel Okwuke  –   Lagos


The Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has advised organisations, companies and individuals to register their .ng domain names to prevent cyber-squatters gaining access to their information.

NiRA said it is proactively protecting organisations, companies and individuals from cyber-squatters through its policies and sensitisation programmes.

However, the Association urged organisations, companies and individuals to avert the impending challenge by registering their .ng domain names.

Cyber-squatting, also known as domain squatting, NiRA explained in its e-newsletter, is the registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else’s trademark. “This is using an Internet domain name in bad faith,” NiRA said.

Historically, cyber-squatting originated during the era when most businesses were not proactive about the commercial opportunities on the Internet.

During the early stage of cyber-squatting, some entrepreneurs would register the names of well-known companies as domain names, with the intent of selling the names back to the companies when they finally wake up. Panasonic, Hertz and Avon are some of the ‘victims’ of cyber-squatters.

Opportunities for cyber-squatters can rapidly diminish, as more businesses know that securing their domain names is a high priority.

On how to know if the .ng domain names you want is being used by a cyber-squatter, NiRA offers some advice. “Check where the domain name takes you on your Internet browser. Check the ‘Who Is Lookup’. If your trademark is in use, this confirms you are a victim of domain squatting.

NiRA said the easiest and cheapest way to prevent most cyber-squatting is to register your company name and variants on the .ng domain platform before the damage is done.

Source : Independent

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