I'm a 3Essentials webhosting customer and I have a domain registered with 3Essentials... I received this email... is it real or is it some kind of PHISHING?
Dear (your name),
It's that time of year again. ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) annually requires that all accredited registrars ask their domain administrators/registrants to review domain name contact data, and make any changes necessary to ensure accuracy.
To review/update your contact data, simply:
+ Go to http://www.securepaynet.net/(something) NOTE: If the link does not work, copy and paste the URL into your browser.
+ Click on the "ICANN" text link at the top left side of the page
+ You will be taken to a landing page and asked to enter your Domain Information key: XXXX-1234-XXXXX-123456-XXXXXX (some characters)
+ Enter your key and click "Go."
Next, simply review the contact information for each domain name. To make a correction, log in to "My Account" with your customer number or log in name and password. Click "Manage Domains," select the domain to update, then click "Contact." If you find that your domain contact data is accurate, there's no need to take action.
If, however, your domain contact information is inaccurate, you must correct it. (Under ICANN rules and the terms of your registration agreement, providing false contact information can be grounds for domain name cancellation.) To review the ICANN policy, visit: http://www.icann.org/registrars/wdrp.htm
Should you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com or call our customer support line at (480) 624-2500.
Thanks for your attention and thank you for being a 3Essentials, Inc. customer.
Yes, the email is real. 3Essentials provides domain registration services through a partnership with WildWestDomains (and if you checked the WHOIS information on your domain registration, you'd actually find your domain appears registered as "Registrar: WildWestDomains Registered Through: 3Essentials, Inc." The email communication above is generated by WildWestDomains in accordance with the requirements placed upon registrars by the ICANN. This is a VALID communication - the email address they use for sending this communication is (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The link they provide you and the Domain Information key just gives you a shortcut to seeing your contact info for your domains - you actually cannot make any changes there - it's intended to give you a quick way to see your contact info and see if it's up to date. If it's not, you can safely follow the instructions there for updating it. Alternatively, you can also go to http://www.3essentials.com/domain-registration.asp and click the MANAGER YOUR DOMAIN REGISTRATION ACCOUNT link... this will log you into the same domain registration account management interface where you can update your domain registration contact information.
The ICANN makes this requirement because people regularly change their emails, forget that old email was used for their domain registration, then as a result don't receive their domain registration renewal notice... then their domain name expires, and they lose their name. This activity is in an effort to make sure this doesn't happen to you, by reminding you to check your domain registration contact info at least once a year.
It's good that you checked on this to ask if it's phishing... it's important to ALWAYS be on guard for phishing type emails, and you're always welcome to send any communication to our support team at email@example.com if you are uncertain of a communication's authenticity.