We feel it’s important to make everyone aware that the Australian Domain Administration (auDA) introduced a new domain extension on the 24th of March 2022 allowing businesses to register domains as yourbusinessname.au.  They believe the shorter simpler domain can be helpful for marketing and branding making them more memorable for customers and clients.

To be eligible for the new .au domain you must have and Australian presence including:

An Australian registered company

An Australian partnership or sole trader

An Australian registered charity

An Australian registered political party

A trust or trustee is an Australian citizen

A foreign company licensed to trade in Australia

This new .au extension has been reserved strictly for owners of domain names with yourbusinessname.com.au or yourbusinessname.net.au but only until 20th of September 2022 to secure their equivalent address. This is prompting warnings from the Small Business Ombudsman and IT professionals about the risk from cybersquatters, scammers or even competitors taking their names.  It’s like giving cyber criminals an open door of opportunity to impersonate legitimate businesses as few people have the time or experience to recognise dodgy domains.  One way they operate is to monitor emails until they see an invoice with a substantial amount, intercept the invoice, change the bank details and send it on looking so very much like the authentic business so the funds are paid in to the wrong bank account.  We’ve seen this happen more times than we’d like and it’s not always our clients’ emails that are monitored but a customer/provider of theirs.  We make every effort to close all windows and portals that allow cyber gremlins to get in.

Since we believe in being proactive rather than reactive, if we currently manage one or more of your existing domains we strongly suggest that we protect your business identity (and your clients) by registering this new domain before anyone else is given the opportunity.

With this deadline approaching fast, we are offering to do the labour for free to our existing clientsso your only cost is the domain registration of $50 per year.  A small price to pay for extra protection online. Generally, you can register a domain name for between one and five years with extensions available if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements for the domain.

So what happens if you choose not to register your domain with the .au extension?  It certainly doesn’t affect your existing domain which will continue to operate so long as you keep the registration up to date.  If you don’t register the .au alternative, it is possible for someone to impersonate your business and conduct fraudulent cyber activity such as creating a fake website or sending emails to people pretending to be your business.  It would be hard to spot if your customers receive an invoice from admin@yourbusiness.au instead of your legitimate admin@yourbusiness.com.au .  Not only can this result in a loss of money but could ruin your reputation and the level of trust your customers have with you.  Prevention is the key.

We have also referenced this recently on our Facebook page along with other general information if you’re interested by clicking here.