In March this year, a new category of domain name was made available to Australian businesses.
Up until September 21, Australian businesses can register ‘xxx.au’ domains for existing .com.au domain names. Thereafter, anyone else can register the new, shorter URLs. This means competitors, or URL ‘campers’ or cybercriminals can register a domain name that’s very similar and possibly, mistakable for your own.
In order to protect URLs related to your existing .com.au domains, the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson has urged small business to take urgent action by the September deadline to safeguard their identity.
“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,” Billson warned.
“I implore all small business owners to take a few minutes to work out if they want the shortened .au domain or will be unhappy for someone else to have it,” Billson said.
“If you want it, small business owners, I urge you to take a few minutes and few dollars to register it or potentially face someone else grabbing it and using it to digitally ambush your business, to demand big dollars later to surrender it to you, or misuse it to masquerade as you or to help them engage in cyber-crime.”
The .au Domain Administration (auDA) is a non-government regulator, and recently rejected Billson’s letter requesting an extension to the deadline.