A Realtor friend of mine, from a city and state which shall remain unnamed, called me the other day to ask if I knew what could be done about the fact that a disgruntled party in one of his deals (not his client) had registered the dot com of his first and last name and put up a “this Realtor Sucks” website. He called me because he knows I know a lot about this stuff. Unfortunately, all I could suggest was contacting an attorney. Once that domain is registered by someone else, he has no control over the content of the website. I checked in with him a couple of days ago and the attorney had drafted a strongly worded letter and was taking quick action. The person who did this could actually be in big trouble for liable and slander. Hopefully the site will be down soon.
This brings up a good point though. Even if you are not in an occupation that requires regular public interface, such that your name is part of your business and branding, you should register yourname.com, if it’s available, so that someone else can’t do what was done to my friend. I’ve registered mine and my wife and kid’s names for that reason.
You never know when your 15 minutes of fame might strike and suddenly yourname.com has value as a destination that curious people type into their browser and search engines. More importantly, you want to have it so someone else can’t grab it and do what was done to my friend, or worse. What if your angry ex decides to put a site up at yourname.com with some embarrassing home photos or movies? It’s a different world we live in now-a-days. In the case of my Realtor friend, a Google Search for his name brings up the offending site already as the number 2 result, right below his real website. That’s not good.
For $5 or $10 per year, there is no reason not to register yourname.com. Go to GoDaddy.com and see if yours is available and grab it while you can.