Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOM DOMAIN NAMES IN DATA PRIVACY

In the spirit of Data Privacy Day marked globally on January 28, 2019, we decided to take a look at the importance of registering a custom domain name as a measure to safeguard your data from being stolen on the internet.

A custom domain is a unique branded name that identifies a website. Custom domains, also known as vanity URLs, appear in the address bar at the top of every browser. We use them every day to navigate around the world wide web; you probably have many of your favorites memorized or bookmarked. The world uses custom domains to navigate the internet, identify and visit websites for various activities.

Computers cannot understand the urls we use to access websites, however.  Networked devices use numbers and codes to communicate, rather than letters and words. The internet therefore has a system in place to translate between a domain name that we type into our browser, and the IP addresses that computers use to identify themselves on networks. It’s called the DNS, or the Domain Name System. DNS is what allows us to have custom, branded domains attached to websites.

Custom domain names can be registered by individuals or organizations. These domain names are registered for many reasons, one of which could be for Data Privacy. 

Data privacy, also called information privacy, is said to be the aspect of Information Technology (IT) that deals with the ability of an organization or individual has to determine what data in a computer system can be shared with third parties.

On the global scene, the European Union (EU) adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 14 April 2016 which took effect on 25 May 2018.

According to the European Commission, the aim of the GDPR is to protect all EU citizens and residents from privacy and data breaches. It applies to all Companies processing and holding the personal data of subjects residing in the European Union, regardless of the company's location. More information is available here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/law-topic/data-protection_en.

In Nigeria, the protection of the privacy of citizens are guaranteed by the following:

  • Section 37 of the 1999 constitution which provides for the right to privacy.
  • Cybercrimes Act 2015 which provides for the retention and preservation of traffic data and subscriber information by service providers for a period of 2 years.
  • 2013 Guidelines for Data Protection from National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)
  • The Freedom of Information Act 2011
  • The Child Rights Act 2003
  • Also, the Regulation of Telephones Subscribers Regulation, among other laws.

Individuals and organization must learn to adopt the right measures to prevent cyber-attack of their data.

One major measure of ensuring Data Privacy is to register your custom domain names.

  • The custom domain registration will help prevent domain squatting on your identity, brand, trademarks and intellectual property.
  • Registering your custom domain name will also make it possible to host email addresses on your domain name (i.e. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), rather using public domain such as Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail to host email addresses. Custom domains provides first-hand security to your email communications.
  • With a custom domain name, you also create confidence in dealings with your clients, it gives your clients first assurance that they are dealing with the right individual/organization. This will be a plus to your business approach.

The phenomenal growing rate of cybersquatting, cyberattack and cybercrime in cyberspace has become alarming and it is important to adopt necessary measure at every opportunity to maintain data privacy and protection. If you are yet to register brand custom domain, you can do so now! See a list of .ng Accredited Registrars: https://nira.org.ng/accredited-registrars.