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Two guardian angels for your domain name

By Blog

Your own domain name is the basis of your online corporate identity: you can easily link your website and email addresses to it, as well as other online services. But the words online, identity and easily in one sentence also attract the interest of cybercriminals. For phishing, requesting ransomware or otherwise abusing this technology. There is no doubt that they will try. That is why you can read how to protect your domain with cybersecurity and what you should do here.

Your own domain name = greater visibility


Most companies have their own domain such as or a be/nl/… or a variant thereof. Occasionally you will see smaller SMEs using an email address with their provider’s domain such as However, registering your own domain and turning it into a personalised email address is not that expensive and quite easy to do, so why wouldn’t you do it? It gives your company extra visibility. But the more email addresses and other applications depend on your domain name, the greater the risk of abuse…

Phishing risks: falsified invoices and payment orders


For example, the abuse of a fake email address with corresponding domain to send phishing mails is very popular. In that case, cybercriminals use domains that are very similar to yours, such as, or They mislead your employees, customers and suppliers. If you have your own clear domain name, point it out to your contacts. And also make them aware of the risks they are facing if they do respond to an email similar to yours without checking. An alert recipient can easily see that the sender is not a match for the actual domain name. It gets a lot harder when online criminals effectively use your domain. This is much less immediately visible. The abuse of your real domain name is a successful technique for sending fake invoices or payment orders in your name, for example. These are just some of the types of fraud that cybercriminals can commit if they have access to your domain name.

Cybersecurity to the rescue


Fortunately, there is security technology to help you combat such practices. SSL and SPF-DKIM-DMARC are the most accessible and efficient of their kind.

Protecting emails with SPF-DKIM-DMARC

This standard protects against the abuse by cybercriminals of email addresses with your domain name, but also against the sending of spam messages in your name.


The four major advantages of this standard are


  • Security – Your domain is no longer as attractive for use in phishing attacks which are usually followed by fraud or ransomware..

  • Visibility – All email usage of your domain is visible: all that is legitimate but also everything that could be fraudulent. This way you maintain control.

  • Delivery – Your domain will have a better reputation over time. This ensures the delivery of your emails and they won’t be blocked by firewalls or spam systems (any more). Marketing emails – advertising – are also passed on more easily.

  • Identity – You show up with a unique digital signature in your email header showing clearly you are the right sender.

A paying SSL certificate for your website


To prove online that your website is really yours, the use of an SSL certificate is a good thing. This certificate has two purposes:

  • Encrypting the connection between the visitor and your website.

    he data traffic between the two is encrypted and thus unreadable for third parties.

  • Proof of identity.

    Any website address marked with a lock and ‘https‘ is a correct address – not a fake lookalike.


Read more about how exactly you can recognise SSL from in this blog: Staying secure online while browsing


On websites, we often see free SSL certificates with a limited validity period which have to be renewed every time. This is fine for the first application, namely the secure connection between visitor and website.


HOWEVER: you have to be aware that this free certificate is also free for cybercriminals. They too make grateful use of https and SSL. This way they can activate a free certificate on a fake domain that is very similar to yours and the unsuspecting visitor thinks it is OK because the link starts with https://.


So, if you want to be sure, always use a paying certificate on your website or online services. Although it is not really expensive and it does appear to be a deterrent for people who want to abuse your good name. A paid certificate is valid for at least 12 months and clearly shows the name of your company. If in doubt, just check.

Would you like to find out how sensitive your company is to these practices? Contact us for a free check-up and advice.

Netcure Domain Check-up

Try us: this check-up and the accompanying advice are free of charge.

Trust us, we’re crazy about cybersecurity!

Staying secure while online browsing

By Blog

Browsing the internet is usually safe. But what if you come across a less secure website? Cybercriminals will be able to access your PC, direct you to their own payment page or otherwise commit fraud. While, with just a little expertise, this can easily be avoided. Cybersecurity provides some easy-to-check safeguards that greatly reduce your risk. Learn how to recognise and visit trustworthy websites without worry.

Step 1 in secure browsing: https:///

Website addresses starting with https:// are generally considered safe.. You can also recognise them by the lock in front of the website URL. With the lock and the ‘s’ in https:// the connection between your PC and the website is encrypted.

With this encryption, third parties – cybercriminals – cannot alter or change the data traffic between your PC and the website. This also ensures that all data actually originates from your own PC or the website server – and not from someone else.

Today, a large proportion of websites already use this technology. Some browsers even warn about websites that do not have this protection with a pop-up.

But the lock and the https:// are not sufficient proof of a secure website. Cybercriminals are also aware of this technique. They even abuse free certificates for their crimes, when they use them to avoid firewalls inspecting the content of their data traffic. These firewalls may be specially configured for this – but that is another story.

Step 2: Checking the security certificate

Website owners who want to secure their website therefore install a certificate that sets up the encryption. Every visitor can easily consult this certificate: click in your browser on the lock icon in front of the URL and a pop-up will appear, which tells you if

  • the certificate is issued for the correct URL
  • it is still valid.


This way, you can check that the website you are visiting is the correct one you want to see.

Step 3: Is it an EV or OV certificate?

Certificates come in different types and they’re not all the same. The first distinction is between free and paid certificates.

A free certificate is quickly created and is usually for one particular website. Free also means that someone with bad intentions can quickly generate this type of certificate for a rogue website. For example, most people do not notice the difference between en

A free certificate lacks the verification of the organisation or the applicant: anyone can request a free certificate for any domain name..

Of course, online criminals can also abuse paid certificates, but the threshold is much higher for doing so on a large scale. The costs for a criminal rise pretty quickly, which is what they are trying to avoid.

That’s why, for paying certificates, there is an OV option (organisation validation). In that case, the identity of the company is checked before awarding the certificate.

One step higher is the EV certificate (Extended Validation). The identity of the company and the applicant are extensively and strictly verified in this case. Web shops and online payment pages typically use these EV certificates.

THEREFORE, if you want to make important transactions online, check the website’s certificate just to be sure.

Would you like more information on which certificate to apply to your own website? Give us a call and we’ll brainstorm together.

Trust us, we’re crazy about cybersecurity!

Contact us