Leading Australian digital marketing service provider, Localsearch – which has been helping more than 28,000 Australian small and medium family businesses for over 29 years while also providing free online support to a further 217,000 – urges businesses to purchase their .au domains before the deadline to safeguard themselves against potential scams and online security.
This follows the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) recent bulletin recommending that all Australian businesses consider claiming their .au extension now before the 20 September 2022 priority access period expires, preventing someone from purchasing the domain and then impersonating your business.
Quotes attributed to Sarah Russo, Head of Content Marketing and social media expert at Localsearch
If you have a business operating in Australia, we at Localsearch strongly urge you to register for your .au domain namespace before the 20 September 2022 deadline. There are countless benefits to securing digital ownership of domain names, however the main issue at hand is small businesses are not understanding the potential harm this can cause if your domain is left unclaimed before this deadline.
Websites previously identified as .com.au or .net.au etc. can now be simplified to omit the ".com" or ".net" part of the address. This will give cybercriminals the opportunity to "capture" websites, mimicking their design and branding – then either ransom the site back to the business owner or even steal potential business if the current owners do not register the shorter domain names by the September deadline, as the unclaimed URL becomes available for purchase to the public.
Only one person can hold a specific domain namespace at any one time, so there is a chance someone could claim your business name before you. Getting security of your .au domain can ensure your online presence is more protected and it saves you from potential scams being registered under a URL containing your business name.
Given the eligibility for a .au and similar domains requires you to have an Australian presence, consumers who see this in your website URL will feel confident they are buying from an Australian business or someone registered to sell in Australia. It adds that extra layer of credibility to your name.
This deadline doesn’t mean small businesses can never get their .au. It simply opens it up to anyone who meets the eligibility being able to buy/claim it. This can bring the threat of eCommerce and online scams, which can severely impact sales, revenue and reputation of small businesses in particular.