Many of you would be aware that there is a change happening in relation to Australian domain names. And it’s a change you should be aware of and make sure your firm has acted to protect its brand. At present most businesses have a website with a .com.au ending. Soon you will also be able to have just .au. I’ve included a direct quote from the Australian Cyber Security Centre below which explains more.
Australians have until 20 September 2022 to seek priority allocation of an .au direct domain name that matches their existing domain name.
Anyone with an Australian presence (including businesses, organisations and individuals) can now register a new category of domain name, known as .au direct. These shorter simpler domain names will end in simply ‘.au’ (e.g. mybusiness.au) and will complement existing namespaces such as ‘com.au’, ‘net.au’, ‘org.au’, ‘asn.au’, ‘id.au’, ‘gov.au’ and ‘edu.au’.
Existing domain name licence holders have been provided priority to register the .au direct equivalent of their domain names until 20 September 2022, after which domain names that have not been allocated will become available to the general public.
This new option for domain names creates opportunities for businesses, organisations and individuals, however, could also provide another opportunity for cybercriminals, such as by facilitating fraudulent activity like business email compromise. For example, by registering yourbusiness.au where you have already registered yourbusiness.com.au in order to impersonate your business.
The ACSC recommends that all Australian businesses, organisations and individuals consider taking advantage of the priority allocation process to register the .au direct equivalents of their existing domain names. In cases where conflicts occur, such as when different organisations own similar domain names (e.g. mybusiness.com.au and mybusiness.net.au), priority allocation will help to determine who is able to register their .au direct equivalent. Until 20 September 2022, registrants of .au domain names licensed before the launch of .au direct have priority to apply for the matching .au direct domain name.
For the small annual cost I strongly recommend every firm get the .au direct domain registered as part of protecting your brand and online presence.