Verify Domain Ownership Using DNS
Sometimes, in the course of human events, particularly when you’re a website owner, you may be asked to verify ownership of your domain. This is sometimes done by posting a file to your website and having the verification requestor bot check for the link to that file. The problem is, of course, that if your website is compromised, it’s a fairly trivial matter to post a file to the website’s file structure, thereby allowing the criminals to prove domain ownership when, in fact, it’s not the case at all. Therefore, increasingly, DNS is being used for this task, simply because in order to prove verification, you have to be able to edit or create a DNS record via your control panel, something those who simply compromise a website are unable to do.
So How Do I Do This?
This rather depends on what sort of server setup you have. In this article, I’m going to concentrate on verifying domain ownership via DNS if you have shared hosting, as, generally speaking, those who have their own server either know how to do this themselves or have available to them someone who does. If not, they’d better, because this is the sort of expertise needed to safely run a server.
- The first thing you need to do is to log into your hosting provider’s control panel. At Bright Stars Web, we use CPanel, and that is what I’ll discuss here. Hopefully those reading this who use another control panel will be able to transfer instructions accordingly.
To log into your CPanel, type:
Or, you’re always welcome to log in via:
Log in with the user name and password you were given by your hosting provider at the time you signed up for their services.
- Once logged in, scroll down the page until you find the ‘Zone Editor’ link.
When you click the ‘Zone Editor’ link, the following screen appears.
- Press the ‘Manage’ Button. The Following screen appears.
- Press the ‘Add’ button to add a txt record. The following screen appears.
- Choose txt from the ‘Type’ dropdown list.
- At this point, there are three (3) fields that can be edited. Change the ttl (time to live) field to a very low number. This field represents the time, in seconds, before the record should be updated. Try 60, for example, which gives a time to live of 1 minute. This will ensure quicker updating of the record. The name and record text values will be provided by the organization for whom you’re verifying domain ownership. Copying and pasting the values is likely the best way to be assured that the values are accurate, but make certain that extraneous trailing characters such as spaces, carriage returns, or line feeds are not highlighted for copying.
- Once you’ve filled in the required information, press the ‘Add Record’ button. Hopefully, the record added successfully. All that remains now is for the DNS to propagate so that the record you added shows up there. You can refresh the page periodically to examine your zone’s txt records so you can see when it does. You can scroll down to ‘Filter’ & press the ‘TXT’ link to see only records of that type, which will make it far easier to spot when the DNS has indeed updated.
Hopefully this article has helped you verify ownership of your domain. Please comment to let me know whether or not the article helped you, or to request assistance with this task if you’re one of my hosting clients. That will obviously require providing me with the information requested by the organization in question.
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