Domain Names in Australia are Changing, Find Out What Your Business Needs to Do About it.
1 August, 2022
If you run a business in Australia, you most likely will already have a website – or thinking about getting one.
Your website is the hub of your online presence and is a great place to showcase what you do or what you sell, attract new customers, and create trust in your business.
Along with your website you would have registered a .com.au, .net.au, .org.au domain name which shows your business presence is in Australia.
The way we register our domain names in Australia is changing.
What is changing?
Shorter, simpler domain names are now available as a new option for Australian web and email addresses.
What does your business need to do to secure your .au direct domain name?
If your business has an existing eligible .au domain name (such as .com.au and .net.au), you have until 20 September 2022 to indicate whether you intend to apply for Priority Status to register and use a shorter domain name for the exact match of your name in .au direct domain, such as yourbusiness.au rather than yourbusiness.com.au your business has priority over the .au version of your domain name.
What if I don’t register a .au direct domain?
There is no obligation to take up .au direct. It is a choice for businesses and individuals to make after considering whether it is beneficial to them. auDA (.au Domain Administration Ltd) believe the new namespace will be of interest to many new and existing businesses and individuals as it:
- Delivers a greater choice of online names in the trusted Australian domain
- Allows users to register shorter, more memorable online names, facilitating greater consumer engagement
- Provides names that are easier to type and display on mobile phones.
.au direct expands the options businesses already have when setting up an online presence, similar to the business decision to register more than one domain name, for example com.au and .com. Businesses with the same or similar names already co-exist without eroding trust or security – that is why different namespaces were created.
However auDA and Australian Cyber Security Centre recommend it’s important to consider the risks of not registering a .au direct domain, including cybersecurity risks.
If your business’ .au domain name is available to such cyber criminals, this could create an opportunity for someone to impersonate your business and conduct fraudulent cyber activity, it can be used to redirect your customers to a fake website that looks similar to yours or sending emails to people pretending to be your business. Your customers may be tricked into clicking on a domain that is not owned by you simply because it is showing the same brand as your business. By the time you or your customers realise what is happening, cybercriminals will have already achieved their goals.
For example: Your clients might not spot that the invoice they’ve just received was from firstname.lastname@example.org and not your actual email address email@example.com.
After 20th September 2022, if the .au domain names that match your business are not purchased these will be released to the general public.
How do I register a .au direct name?
You can apply for Priority Status through your domain registrar or any other accredited registrar listed on auDA’s website that are offering .au direct domain names, before 20 September 2022. For references and more information please visit the following links:
.auDA – .auDA Domain Administration Ltd
Business Victoria Hub – New au Domain Names – 7 Things Your Business Should Know
Webcentral – Dangers of Leaving Your Brands Domain Name Available
Aus Gov Australian Cyber Security Centre – Are you Ready for Australian Domain Name Changes?
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