The ATO Commissioner has just issued a warning to businesses on the importance of securing your au domain name!
To recap, .au direct domain names were launched earlier this year by the organisation that manages Australian domain names, the Australian Domain Administration (auDA). This will allow businesses to elect to drop the .com from their web addresses.
.au has been introduced, after ongoing significant public consultation, to complement the existing ‘namespaces’ (e.g. .com.au, .net.au and .org.au) for those domain names with direct verified connection to Australia. Its purpose is to deliver a wider choice of available names in the Australian domain, allow users to register shorter online names and provide names that are easier to type and display on mobile devices.
This change will align Australia with many other countries including the UK, Canada, USA and New Zealand.
To keep your business safe and undisrupted a consistent .au online presence will help to reduce risk of unwanted parties piggybacking on your online brand / domain names. It is recommended that your equivalent .au direct domain is purchased.
Anyone can register your business’s .au equivalent domain name unless you have secured it.
Since March this year, businesses with an existing domain name (i.e, whose websites end in .com.au or .net.au) have been given priority to reserve their matching .au domain name. For example, a business with an ‘ato.com.au’ domain name can also register as ‘ato.au’.
Remember to consider the benefits of registering an .au domain for your business and your individual circumstances. One of the benefits of registering is that you safeguard your brand’s identity on the internet.
If you don’t reserve your business’s .au domain name, impersonators, web name campers or cyber criminals may potentially take it. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has issued an alertExternal Link on the risk of cyber criminals using your brand’s domain to impersonate your business and conduct fraudulent cyber activities.
You can register your domain name’s .au equivalent at www.auda.org.au/au-domain-names/au-domain-names/au-direct or through www.auda.org.au/accredited-registrars to protect the digital identity of your brand.
In most cases, there will only be one registrant eligible to apply for a reserved .au direct name as they will be the only holder of its match in another .au namespace (e.g. .com.au, .net.au and .org.au). This is referred to as an uncontested name.
In these cases, the applicant will be allocated the domain name shortly after applying for Priority Status. The registrant will be able to choose a licence term of between one and five years.
For contested names (names where different registrants have the same name in different namespaces), the earlier the creation date of your current domain name the higher the priority and the more likely you are to be allocated your requested name.