Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA)

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The Workings of Domain Names

When a domain name is typed into a universal resource locator (URL) space of a browser, what happens might seems like a magic, because you may have wondered how after typing in a few characters, a website suddenly appears. Really, what transpired at the backend is more than magic, it is the Domain Name System (DNS) technology at work.

If you ever wondered how domains work, or what really goes on behind the scenes? Read on!

What Is a Domain Name?

A domain name is a unique identity in the cyberspace, a registered presence on the Internet. The content that makes up your website (photos, blog posts, font files, etc.) are your website files. These website files are hosted on servers and these servers are only recognized by IP addresses. Your IP address will be a string of numbers. Your IP address is an identification number that allows one computer to communicate with other over the internet.

The introduction of Domain Name System (DNS) brings about an intermediary called a Domain Name. A set of DNS servers act like a phone book that connects IP addresses to domain names. The role of a DNS is to make browsing on the Internet much easier by pointing your domain name to a specific IP address.

Instead of having to type in an IP address whenever you want to access a website, all you have to do is type in the domain name. In other words, a domain name is a more memorable version of your IP address. Just like what you normally do when you search for telephone contact of your family and friends on a phone against their names when the need to make a call arises.

Every domain name is composed of the Top Level Domain (TLD) and other sub levels. Beyond the Top Level Domain, The other levels are hierarchical classifications of the domains, based on convenience. The hierarchy is interpreted from right to left and the levels are separated by dots. The complete name, having all the levels is called the Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN).

What Is a Top Level Domain (TLD)?

Top Level Domains (TLDs) are the highest level of domain names. There are a variety of TLDs available and the one you choose depends upon your style of site and business. For instance, .ng is a country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD). It is more beneficial, to register a .ng domain name if your target audience reside in Nigeria because .ng has a higher rank on search engines for information pertaining to Nigeria.

NIRA is moving. From the 1st Premium Auction to the 2018 AGM

We can now say with confidence that the first .ng premium domain name auction concluded successfully because the winners have all paid what they bidded for the premium domain names. We auctioned 5 premium names and the bids were all successful.

Though we had envisaged more participation from members of the public, the activities of those who participated in the bidding process was quite interesting. We have learnt a lot from this Auction, and will certainly improve on the experience when next we put names up for Auction.

The nomination process for the 2018 .ng Awards is still ongoing. The time period for nominations has been extended to midnight of Monday 30th April, 2018, to allow the active participation of the public and accommodate more nominations. Please nominate individuals and organizations who are worthy of the awards, based on laid down criteria. Visit the Awards nomination platform “http://nira.org.ng/nomination” to do so. All nominations must have .ng domains and the domain names must have been registered and active for at least 6 months.

The 2018 .ng Awards would hold on the 6th of July 2018. Plan to be there. It will be an experience.

NIRA is a stakeholder led organization that thrives on its membership for the formulation of its policies and directions. There is no better reason to become a member of NIRA, than the need to influence the policies that guide the running of the ccTLD. If you are not yet a member, we welcome you, your friends and your associates to join us by completing the membership application form, available at https://www.nira.org.ng/images/pdf/NIRA_Membership_Form.pdf

Finally, The 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of our Association will hold at 11:00am on Monday 30th April 2018, at the NiRA Office Complex, 8 Funsho Williams Avenue, Iponri, Surulere.

At the 10th AGM, i will lead the Executive Board of Directors to present and discuss our scorecard for the last one year. NiRA remains the second fastest growing ccTLD Registry in Africa and this should be of no surprise to all, taking into account all activities carried out in 2017 by NiRA to create awareness and showcase the .ng brand. Just review the statistics of the growth in registrations in the latter part of this newsletter, to appreciate the progress made so far.

I look forward to welcoming you all to the AGM either as a member, or as an observer.

I remain at your service.

 

Rev’d Sunday Folayan

President, NIRA Executive Board

.NG Domain Name Active Domains as at 31st March 2018

The monthly rate of growth of the domain name registrations is encouraging. In March 2018, there were 7,319 newly registered domain names as against the 6,797 registrations done at the same time in 2017. Altogether, there were 89,009 active domain names at the third level and another 19,590 active domain names at the second level, making a total of 108,599 active domains all together.

THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON THE YOUTHS

Social media can be defined as the facilities and tools that reduce the world to a global village; websites and applications that enables users to create, share contents and participate in social networking. The social media platform provides opportunities for users to create online communities to share ideas, information, personal messages, etc. Some of the social media applications include Facebook, Instagram, You-tube, My Space, Twitter, Skype, LinkedIn, etc.

Youths are predominantly the users of the Internet for social interaction. These are the people who cannot imagine life without the Internet, the group seeking for ways to connect virtually to everyone in the world. With over half of the Nigerian population under 30 years of age, they are the ones more frequent on the Internet. We must harness the creativeness of the youth for the economic growth of Nigeria. Bearing in mind that the internet opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities to the youths, the consequences of ignorantly using social media by the youths should not be overlooked.

Whereas we are aware that the social media can have positive effects on the youths, we cannot discountenance the negative effects it also has on the youths. Several studies have been conducted on this and we outline below some of the positive and negative effects of social media on the youths.

The various social platforms provide the youths with:

  • Great communication Tools to connect with loved ones and old friends irrespective of locations.
  • Access to positive and free information being shared on Social Media.
  • Opportunities to promote their businesses to a larger and wider audience.
  • Social Capital.
  • An avenue to contribute to emotional wellbeing of others by offering positive advices.
  • Opportunities to launch businesses online
  • Opportunities to market businesses online at little or no cost.
  • Real time sharing of information for businesses through paid and unpaid advertising.

The negative effects of Social Media on youths cannot be overlooked and can be overwhelming. It can have harmful effects on the youths if not controlled. Some of these effects include:

  • Lack of control of and over personal information: Youths post private information online without realising the associated risks.
  • Cyber bullying
  • Mental Health issues
  • Lack of Morals
  • Spread and ability to amplify Fake News
  • Exposure to adult information
  • Indirect encouragement of high rate of scam on social media
  • Poor grades from the academic pursuits
  • Long hours on Social Media platforms
  • Peer pressure
  • Addiction to social media

 

To ensure the safety of the youth online, it is strongly recommended that:

  • We have adequate and effective Online child protection laws
  • Parents as a matter of urgency should monitor the activities of their wards on the Social Media.
  • Government should empower the youths so as to engage them in more meaningful and constructive activities.
  • A cyber monitoring team should be set by schools to checkmate the effects of illegal activities of the Social Media.
  • The youth should be educated on the proper use of the Internet and Social Media.

 

We must guide the youths and limit their exposure to the negativity of social media. We must ensure appropriate laws are in place to protect them against the exposure to Social Media. We must channel their activities on the social media to yield positive results.

ICANN63 Fellowship Application Round Now Open

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (lCANN) launched the application round for individuals interested in participating in the ICANN63 Public Meeting through the Fellowship Program. The meeting will take place from 20th to 26th October 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. The deadline to apply is 27th April 2018. Successful candidates will be announced on 27th July 2018 on the ICANN website, https://www.icann.org.

The Fellowship Program seeks out individuals who are interested in, or already engaged in, the various aspects of ICANN's work in policy building, the operation of the Domain Name System, and the security and stability of the global Internet. The goal of the program is to create a more diverse and a broader base of knowledgeable constituents who can engage in the ICANN multistakeholder process and become the new voices of experience in their regions and on the global stage.

Since its creation in 2007, the Fellowship Program has built a strong group of individuals who are actively participating in ICANN communities and in other Internet governance entities in the Internet ecosystem. Participation covers a range of activities:

  • Writing articles and blogs
  • Giving online or in-person public comments about bottom-up policy building
  • Participating in Internet conferences and panel discussions
  • Joining working groups
  • Mentoring newcomers
  • Assisting our regional leaders
  • Becoming leaders themselves

READ MORE: https://www.icann.org/fellowshipprogram

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