Updated privacy protect service

On September 26 we will release a revamped version of our privacy protection service. It contains significant changes and will comply with upcoming EU GDPR and ICANN policies.

Why you need the new privacy protect service

At Realtime Register we value the privacy of your customers the registrants, by using the new Realtime Register privacy protect services you’ll bring your customers privacy to the highest level possible. Regarding domain names, it will enable you to be GDPR ready, saving you a lot of time in this area.

The new privacy protect service:

  • is free! That is, for reselling customers with standard pricing
  • protects your customer’s privacy even more effectively
  • allows for transfers without dropping privacy protect
  • prevents spam for your customers
  • is compliant with over 100 data protection laws worldwide.

Main differences

Current Privacy Protect

New Privacy Protect

Contacts
Automatically privacy protect for both the registrant and admin, billing and tech contacts. Only the registrant has Privacy Protect data, the other contacts have the information of the contacts used by you.
Email
Branded form at mydomainprovider.com Branded email informing a registrant, plus link to email
Post transfer out behavior
Privacy protect needs to be lifted before transfer out After a privacy protected domain has been transferred out the privacy protect stays intact, though the information should be changed asap.

What you need to do

what you need to do after the release on September 26, is:

  1. Set your customer’s domain status to transfer prohibited* this will prevent that email will be forwarded to the registrant. You need to make sure you have the registrants consent to do so.
  2. If you want to keep privacy protect for the admin, billing and tech contacts, you need to set these contacts to the same contacts as the registrants.
  3. Customize the new email template** for your brand(s).

*If you want to transfer a domain out, removing this status will forward emails to the registrant making it possible to receive the outgoing FOA email. The spam blocking effect will be disabled.
**The new email template is for reminding the registrant to have the privacy protect information changed after the domain has been transferred away from Realtime Register. This email will only be sent if the privacy protect information has not been updated to the data set of the new privacy protect provider and still contains our information.

Make sure to pass this information on to the people in your organization responsible for policies concerning registrant information and legal issues.

Get ready for the IRTP-C

Familiarize yourself with the upcoming transfer policy changes by reading the Realtime Register IRTP-C newsletter and the checklist below.

How this policy will impact your business

Once the IRTP-C is in effect, the impact will be noticeable for resellers and their end users. The most important changes are:

  • It will no longer be possible to change the registrant of a domain name with a simple domain modification request;
  • Any Material Change of the registrant’s details of any gTLD domain will invoke a (branded) request for approval, unless the reseller acts a Designated Agent;
  • After the Material Change has been completed, the affected domains cannot be transferred to a new registrar for the next 60 days (transfer lock) unless the old registrant has opted out.
  • After a Material Change has been completed, the old and new registrant will receive a branded confirmation email informing them about the completed change.

Checklist

  1. Make sure your Terms Of Service are in line with the Realtime Registers’ Terms and Conditions;
  2. Update your branded email and web form templates at https://dm.realtimeregister.com/branding/ ;
  3. If you have integrated with our API, go to the Domain Manager to get familiar with the additional API commands and add them to your integration.

Pro’s and Cons of being a Designated Agent

A Degisnated Agent is an entity which has explicit permission from the old or new registered domain name holder (registrant) to change contact information at the registry on their behalf.

Pros

  • In most cases a shorter path for updates;
  • Fewer emails to the registrants;
  • Less approval required from old and new registrants during the transfer or update process.

Cons

  • You may need to make some changes to your Terms of Service to become compliant with the policy;
  • Updating your API integration will take some time.

Whether you want to act as a Designated Agent or not, is completely up to you. Either way, Realtime Register provides the branding tools to implement the mandatory communication with your customers.

 

The approval process

The approval process in relation to the IRTP-C process contains a branded email with a link to the mydomainprovider.com approval page. Once both the old and new registrants have confirmed the change, the initiated operation will be executed.

To limit the number of times we need to email your customer, we combine the approval email with the FOA email (if feasible).

The approval email contains the details of the old and new registrant, your brand information and a space for your own text. With this optional text, you can add additional information to inform your customers.

The approval page contains conditionally:

  • A check box to accept the terms and conditions;
  • A check box for validating the new registrant information;
  • An option to accept or reject the transfer and or registrant change;
  • Option to opt-out for the 60-day lock;
  • The affected domain names.

IRTP-C Glossary

IRTP-C
This stands for Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy extension phase C. This policy was designed to prevent domain name theft. Below you will find a short summary of this policy.

The policy in short:
If the registrant data is changed in such a way that the ownership might transfer to another person and / or organization, both old and new registered domain name holders are required to accept the changes first.

However, both old and new registrants can appoint a “Designated Agent” to act on behalf of the registrant. This consent must be given explicitly. The Designated Agent is authorized to approve a change of registrant. After this change is completed, a notification will be sent to the old and new registrant. 

You will find the official policy at https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en

Registrant
The registered domain name holder.

Old Registrant
The registered domain name holder (according to the WHOIS information) at the moment a contact update, domain update or (internal) transfer is requested.

New Registrant
The registered domain name holder after the contact update, domain update or (internal) transfer is completed.

Material Change of the registrants’ details
Any change to the registrants’ name, organization or email. Other details, like phone, postal code or country, are NOT considered as material changes.

Designated Agent
An entity which has explicit permission from the old or new registered domain name holder (registrant) to change contact information at the registry on their behalf.

60-day lock, opt out
After a material change of the registrant information, the domain names affected by this change are under a 60-day transfer lock. During this period, the domain names cannot be transferred to another registrar. However, the old registrant can choose to not use this lock (opt out).

Notification email
An email that is sent to the new and / or old registrant to inform them about the material change of the registrant information. Realtime Register customizes this notification email in such a way that it matches the contacts’ brand.

Validation
The familiar validation of the registrant information resulting from the ICANN RAA-2013.

ICANN
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces of the Internet, ensuring the network’s stable and secure operation.

Transfer request (internal)
A transfer request for a domain that is already under the management of Realtime Register.

Transfer request
A request, initiated by the reseller to transfer one or more domains to Realtime Register.

Update Domain request
A request to attach another contact handle to the one or more domain names.

gTLD
Generic top-level domain

Form Of Authorization (FOA)
The registered domain holder is required to accept the FOA to authorize the transfer to another registrar. Realtime Register sends this branded FOA according to the contacts’ brand.

IRTP-C Newsletter

IRTP-C

On December 1, 2016, the Inter-Registrar Transfer Policy will be updated to IRTP-C. ICANN designed this policy to prevent domain name theft. We are not entirely satisfied how the policy has evolved. Because we made serious efforts to steer things in a better direction, the resulting policy offers some hooks to fit into daily operations.

This email covers the following topics:

Summary of the IRTP-C;
Key Concepts;
Affected Operations;
Required Actions;
IRTP-C maintenance window.

Summary of the IRTP-C

If the registrant data is changed in such a way that the ownership might transfer to another person and or organization, both old and new registered domain name holders are required to accept the changes first.

However, both old and new registrants can appoint a “Designated Agent” to act on behalf of the registrant. This consent must be given explicitly. The Designated Agent is authorized to approve a change of registrant. After this change is completed, a notification will be sent to the old and new registrant.

ICANN has published the official policy on their website: https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/transfer-policy-2016-06-01-en
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Key Concepts

Both the registrar (Realtime Register) and the reseller (you) have to be compliant with this updated policy. In the implementation of the policy, we have strived to make this as uncomplicated and efficient as possible. However, it’s good to have an understanding of the key concepts of the new transfer policy first.

Old Registrant
The registered domain name holder(according to the WHOIS information) at the moment a contact update, domain update or (internal) transfer is requested.

New Registrant
The registered domain name holder after the contact update, domain update or (internal) transfer is completed.

Material Change of the registrants’ details
Any change to the registrants’ name, organization, or email. Other details, like phone, postal code or country. are NOT considered as material changes.

Designated Agent
An entity which has explicit permission from the old or new registered domain name holder (registrant) to change contact information at the registry on their behalf.

60-day lock, opt out
After a material change of the registrant information, the domain names affected by this change are under a 60-day transfer lock. During this period, the domain names cannot be transferred to another registrar. However, the old registrant can choose to not use this lock (opt out).

Notification email
An email that is sent to the new and or old registrant to inform them about the material change of the registrant information. Realtime Register customizes this notification email in such a way that it matches the contacts’ brand.
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Affected Operations

  • The IRTP-C applies to the following operations:
  • Update contact request;
  • Update domain request;
  • Transfer in request;
  • Transfer in request (internal).

Simplified flowchart of the IRTP-C affected operations
Simplified flowchart of the IRTP-C affected operations

Required Actions

First, decide whether you will act as designated agent or not. As a designated agent you need to have explicit consent from your customer (the old and or new registrant) to transfer and or trade the domain or update the registrant information on their behalf.

If you aren’t a designated agent and you initiate material changes at some point, the registrant will receive branded emails with a request to accept the changes on a branded mydomainprovider.com page.

If you are acting as designated agent:
Make sure you get consent from your customers, either through your contract or through a secure web interface.
Resellers using the API integration, need to add an optional flag for the affected operations.
Resellers using the domain manager can tick the box in the applicable forms.

If you are NOT acting as the designated agent
Make sure to update the new and changed branding templates.

Please visit our blog post Get ready for the IRTP-C with detailed information to prepare for the new policy.

IRTP-C maintenance windows

To prepare our systems for the policy and the new API commands, we have planned maintenance windows for the OT&E and production environments.
 
The OT&E environment will be updated on Monday, November 21st, from 10:00 until 10:30 UTC. Within this period, the services of the OT&E environment will be interrupted. This will have no consequences for the production system. The IRTP-C policy will be activated during the release for testing purposes.

The production environment will be updated on Tuesday, November 29th, from 6:30 until 7:00 UTC. Within this period, the services for Realtime Register will be interrupted. DNS resolution will NOT be interrupted. The IRTP-C policy will NOT yet be activated during the release. You can start using use the designated agent parameters, these will be ignored until the IRTP-C policy is activated.
 
The IRTP-C policy will be activated on production Thursday, December 1st 00:00 UTC.

Don’t worry, update your WHMCS!

WHMCS continues to improve their services, with your business’s wellbeing in mind. Still, many WHMCS users keep working with an older version of WHMCS. This may have several reasons.

Goodbye self-built extensions?

logo-whmcsYou may have built your own extensions around WHMCS. This usually works fine, as WHMCS was designed to allow custom-built extensions and plug-ins. Some fear, however, that their cherished programming masterpieces go down the drain once they update WHMCS. Or that it at least would cause communication problems between the module and their extensions, rendering the whole combination useless. That would of course be bad for your business.

Human factors

A lot of your arguments are a very human, and therefore very understandable. Perhaps you have set the WHMCS to your personal preferences, and modeled your entire business routines around this. An update could overwrite all these preferences, and send your customers down the wrong track. You might lose all your settings.
As is becoming more and more common, people don’t have the time for it. You’re busy enough keeping up with all your customers’ requests. Besides, didn’t the older version work just fine already?

And finally, you may have simply opted not to pay for updates. Or you don’t really know how to install them. As much as you might want to, you simply wouldn’t know how to begin. Though leaving things as they are may be the most convenient way for you, it causes severe security and compatibility risks in the long run.

Improve your security

Well, here’s the good news. Updating your system could help you steer that steady course to success, while avoiding obstacles underway. As poetic as that may sound, there is a very realistic and constant threat of internet attacks on your websites. Hackers are constantly looking for new loopholes in your web application’s security net. Regularly updating your WHMCS means you get the most up-to-date protection against internet crime. You, in turn, can tell your customers about your improved security, enhancing your customer trust.

Increase your sales

By updating your WHMCS system, you also get access to the newest techniques and functionalities. This could smoothen your ordering process, resulting in a sales increase. Your customers may also appreciate the new and smoother order trajectory, resulting in a higher ordering willingness, and, not unimportantly, profit for you.

Get the newest features

logoprobeginWHMCS is constantly developing their product. Your older version may contain errors and bugs that may have slipped their attention. While you continue to cumbersomely work your way around those, others like our partner PROBEGIN may have flagged the bugs to WHMCS. They may well have been fixed in the meantime. Updating your WHMCS would make your life a lot easier. It also helps you keep up with your competition. If you keep hanging on to that outdated system of yours, your customers may well choose a different path.

So why do you keep holding yourself back? Update your WHMCS today (and don’t forget to read the instructions!)

How to keep your domains renewed

As your registrar, we want to help you keep your domains registered and renewed. Therefore you need to maintain a sufficient account balance. We provide several tools and options to keep you up and running.

Manage your balance
Of course you need enough balance in your account at renewal date. To do so, we provide several payment methods to make this convenient.

Watermarks
You may set customizable balance watermarks at several amounts in your account. When your account balance hits these watermarks, they trigger an email notification, asking you to review and replenish your balance. Set your watermarks here.

Emergency funds
Against a small fee, you can now apply for emergency funds. These allow you to have a negative account balance for a short while. We can then keep your domains live for a short time after expiration. This should give you enough room to breathe, and buy you some time to fulfill your overdue payments. Please apply for your emergency funds.

Overview upcoming renewals and deletes
Approximately 30 days before the renewal date, we send you an overview of all upcoming renewals and deletes. This should give you enough time to review which domains you wish to maintain, and which ones you want to let go.

Explicit renewal
For supported TLDs, you can force an explicit renewal via the web interface (Realtime Register Domain Manager). If you already know you have something planned around your domains’ expiration date, preventing you from fulfilling your payments manually, you may request explicit renewal for the domains, well ahead of the date. When the time comes, you can go on that well-deserved holiday worry-free, while we renew your domains as requested.

Auto Renew
The safest way to be sure all domains are renewed is to set your domains to Auto Renew. For the domains you wish to let go, you can remove the Auto Renew status. The domain will then automatically be deleted shortly before, or at the expiration date. You can manage this setting through the API, or via the Realtime Register Domain Manager.

If you have any questions, please contact us.