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Hit by a Bus: How to Protect Your Digital Assets

Nobody likes to think about getting hurt, sick or dying, which is why it’s hard to discuss things like disability and life insurance. And while we can all hope that we will never become incapacitated, it’s important to plan for the proverbial “getting hit by a bus.”

This is especially true for owners of digital assets such as domain names and websites. Domain names eventually expire, and getting them back after expiration is very difficult and costly. The continuity of websites is also important.

Here are four things you can do to make sure your domains and other digital assets are taken care of when you are not able to do it yourself.

Use Auto-renew

Auto-renew ensures that your domain names renew each year without having to manually renew them. Namecheap will automatically renew your domains before they expire. 

Be sure the payment information in your account is up-to-date. Some people set their domains to auto-renew but forget to update their credit card information when they get a new card. This causes automatic renewal to fail.

Renew in Advance

Renew your domains for many years in advance. You can renew most domains for up to ten years at a time. If you become sick or temporarily unable to manage your domains, this gives you and your loved ones plenty of time to recuperate and renew the domains.

renew in advance

While renewing in advance costs a bit of money now, it’s actually more cost-effective than renewing each year. Registries that provide domain names to Namecheap are expected to increase their fees in the coming years, but you can renew now at today’s prices.

Find a Trusted Partner

Ideally, you can find someone you trust to manage your domains in your absence. Perhaps it is your spouse, a sibling, parents or children. Provide them with your login information and instructions (such as renewing domain names) in the event of an emergency. Make sure to keep this information up-to-date.

Have an Estate Plan

In the event of permanent disability or death, a loved one might need to step in to protect your digital assets. Loved ones will be dealing with a significant emotional loss, so it’s wise to make managing your estate as easy as possible.

hedgehog with broken arm asking chicken to help with website

This is especially important if you own valuable domain names and websites that need to be protected as part of the estate. In addition to keeping good records, sit down with your heirs to discuss the value of your domain names and websites. Find a trusted person who can help wind down or liquidate the virtual assets in an orderly way.

Just a Bit of Preparation

Thinking about something bad happening in the future is never fun. But it’s the reality, and it’s why people buy insurance and create a will. 

Don’t overlook your digital assets. Make a plan and communicate it with your family or trusted advisors. They will thank you for it.

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Andrew Allemann avatar

Andrew Allemann

Andrew is the founder and editor of Domain Name Wire, a publication that has been covering domain names since 2005. He has personally written over 10,000 posts covering domain name sales, policy, and strategies for domain name owners. Andrew has been quoted in stories about domain names in The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and Fortune. More articles written by Andrew.

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