Australian Business owners face an increased cyber crime risk if fail to register .au domain
Business owners have been warned they could face an increased risk cyber crime in the wake of changes to Australian internet domains from September 20, 2022
New rules were introduced in March this year to allow anyone with a connection to Australia to register the shorter .au domain for their website, rather than the existing .com.au or .net.au.
However, those with existing Australian domains have until September 20 to reserve their equivalent website with the shorter domain, before it would become available to the general public.
If you are the owner of a .com.au or .net.au domain, it is strongly suggested you purchase and use or simply park the new .au domain name to prevent others from doing so.
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise ombudsman Bruce Billson said the short deadline for the changeover could lead to a rise of cyber criminals taking advantage.
Mr Billson said it was likely large numbers of businesses could have their brand or identity impersonated.
“Domain names are very much the identity of a business and critical to their success. Small businesses cannot afford to have their identity sold to someone else,” he said.
“This is like cutting a second set of keys to your front door and selling them to a rival, a stranger who tries to sell them back to you at a higher price or a criminal who uses them to rip off your customers.”
The ombudsman said he was concerned by the lack of awareness surrounding the campaign to the changeover to the .au domain.
The new system to allow the shortened domain was made by regulator .au Domain Administration.
The administration said the change would be the biggest in decades for Australian websites, and would allow for access to shorter and simpler website addresses.
So far, more than three million domains with .au have been registered.
While Mr Billson said he outlined concerns to the administration and requested for an extension to the deadline, but was rejected.
He said there could be a rise of “cyber squatting”, where similar domain names are occupied by competitors or cyber criminals for fraudulent activity.
“All I can do is try and make sure small and family business are not caught short when it comes to the shortened .au domain name”, he said.
“The consequences of not registering your existing business name by this deadline could be catastrophic for a business if a rival or someone else took their online name.”
You can purchase the .au domain from your existing domain hosting service or from us for only $15 per year