Protecting Your Online Identity

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Ottawa residents have been privy to an interesting, if not heated, exchange over the past week related to www.lowellgreen.ca.  If you aren’t in the loop, Lowell Green is an outspoken small “c” conservative Ottawa talk-radio host who recently revealed that someone registered lowellgreen.ca and pointed it to the Morgentaler abortion clinic.

The fact that Green failed to register this domain name himself is a cautionary tale for all Canadians.  It is one of how to protect your identity in this ever-expanding online world.

Most of us take pains to protect our identities by guarding against identity theft and scams.  We shield the ATM machine when we type in our pins.  We shred private documents before we put them in the recycling.  We keep our Social Insurance Number in a safe place.  But when it comes to our online presence, we are far more liberal about sharing personal information.  In fact, many Canadians don’t give much thought to how they might be impersonated online and the far-reaching implications this can have.

A key way that we can stake an online claim to our identities is by registering .ca domain names.  Domain names speak to who we are and/or what our business is all about.  Some Canadians only think of reserving their .com.  In fact, Lowell Green did register a .com.  For those of us in Canada, a .ca is an essential part of who we are – Canadian.

.ca domain names are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. The only way to ensure that you get the domain name you want is to register it before someone else does.  It’s a good idea to register your domain name as soon as you choose it. You don’t have to have a website or an agreement with a hosting service before you register the name.  It’s very simple to start this process.  Just choose a .ca domain name and check its availability using the .ca WHOIS search tool.

Not only have I registered my name, but I have also registered the names of my children.  I regard this as advance for when they want to have their own online presence.  It’s a bit like an insurance policy – pay into it now; perhaps you won’t see the benefits for some time to come, but you know it is there when it counts.

How do you protect your identity online?  Is registering a .ca part of the picture for you?

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