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The Different Types of Domain Locks Explained

Domain locks provide protection for a domain name against unauthorized transfers and modifications.

Here are the topics we will discuss in this article.


 

Types of Domain Locks

There are several types of locks placed on a domain for security purposes.

A Legal Lock is a Registrar lock placed at the Registry on a domain name that is the subject of a legal issue, such as two-party disputes or bankruptcy. Domain name registrations that have a Legal Lock can only be renewed. Domain information cannot be modified, and the domain name cannot be transferred while in a Legal Lock status.

Domain Transfer Lock

A Transfer Lock is applied by the Registrar to prevent accidental or unwanted changes to your domain. This lock is designed to protect a domain name from being transferred out of your account by an unauthorized user. It serves as an added layer of protection to keep domain names registered in your account and under your control, even if someone obtains your domain EPP key or authorization code.

Outbound Change of Registrar (OCRA) Lock

The Outbound Change of Registrar (OCRA) Lock is a lock status placed on your domain when certain changes are made to your account to ensure the highest level of security when registering a domain name with us.

An Outbound Change of Registrar lock occurs when you update the following information in conjunction with a password reset.

  • The Primary Contact name has been changed.
  • The Primary Contact email address has been changed.
  • The WHOIS Admin Contact email address has been changed.
  • The WHOIS Admin Contact has been replaced.
  • The User IDs are merged in the Customer Portal.
  • The Primary Contact has been changed.

What domain extensions or TLDs will be affected?

Please note that a 60-day lock will be placed on the following domain TLDs when certain account changes have occurred.

  • .biz
  • .cc
  • .cn
  • .com
  • .info
  • .mobi
  • .name
  • .net
  • .org
  • .tv
  • .us

An email will be sent, notifying you that there were changes on your account and, thus, why the lock was placed.

The OCRA Lock is activated on the domain on the same day the change is made. The lock date is reset if any subsequent changes occur in the account after that time. When certain changes are made to an account in conjunction with a password reset, all eligible domains currently residing in that account will be placed on an OCRA Lock. Purchasing or moving a new domain name to the account will not affect the new domain(s).

Change of Registrar (COR) Lock

The Change of Registrar (COR) Lock is placed on a domain to prevent domain hijacking and other potential hazards. If you are the Registrant or the primary account holder, updates made to your contact information that involve changes to the Registrant's name, email address, or organization name will result in a 60-day COR Lock on all domains associated with your account.

What factors could trigger a COR Lock?

  • When there are certain changes to the Registrant's information, which includes an internal transfer (also known as a Registrant Name Change Agreement, better known as RNCA) or any changes to the Registrant's name, email address, or organization name. 
  • There is a change of administrative email address if no Registrant email address is displayed in the WHOIS database. 
  • When a domain transfer from one party to another is initiated.

Depending on the change, you will need to verify the requested updates through a confirmation email. While your domains are under the 60-day lock, you can still manage, renew, and transfer them internally (moving domains between accounts). However, you cannot transfer domains to another registrar until the lock has been lifted.


 

How to Check the Domain Lock Status

To check the status of your domain lock:

  1. Log in to your Customer Portal.
  2. Click Domains in the left-hand side menu.

    Customer Portal - Domanis tab

  3. Locate your domain from the list.
    • If you have a single domain in your account, you will be redirected right away to the Domain Overview page.
       
    • If you have multiple domains in your account, you can do the following:

      In Advanced view:

      1. Click the domain or click the domain's vertical ellipsis icon on the far right, under the Actions column.

        Advanced View - Multiple domains

      2. Select Manage.

      In Summary view:

      Locate the domain and click its Settings button.

      Summary View - Multiple domains

  4. Within the Domain Overview section, you will find the status of the domain lock.

    Domain Overview - Domain Locked

    You can also see the domain lock status when you scroll down to the Transfer or Move Domain section.

    Transfer or Move a Domain - Domain Locked


 

Why are Domain Locks Important

Domain locks are essential for protecting a domain from various security risks. Without these locks, unauthorized individuals could easily transfer a domain to another registrar or change its registration details without your permission. This could lead to domain hijacking, where a hacker takes over a domain and redirects visitors to harmful websites, sends spam emails using your domain, or even demands a ransom for its return. Similarly, the lack of domain locks might result in accidental changes or transfers caused by human error, further jeopardizing the security and credibility of your or your business's online presence. Domain locks keep a domain safe from these dangers.

 

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