Is URL cyber squatting on .AU domains really a thing Doctor Digital?
Doctor Digital Says
If you have read my recent blog on .au domains you would know about the coming changes to Australian URL extensions, where we are moving from .com.au to just .au. This makes a shorter, simpler URL for your customers to remember while signaling your region of origin and capitalising on that brand location value.
The .au extension is available for .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .gov.au or .edu.au. addresses and all Australian businesses will have until 20 September to reserve their .au equivalent domain name, before it becomes available to the general public on a first come first served basis.
Perhaps you haven't been wildly enthused to reserve your URL as you might be thinking you've already got your .com.au in the bag, what more do you need?
That is some reasonable logic, but it also plays into the hands of cyber criminals who once URL is open for purchase, can buy the URL that closely resembles your authentic site, and use it to phish for all kinds of scams by cyber squatting your business.
What we know about cyberscamming is that it relies on people being people, being busy and not carefully reading emails or messages with links before they click. If the scam is close enough to your business link, it may well seem legit and open your brand to being used as a front for criminal activity. Clearly, this is going to have impacts on you, your brand and your hapless customers who might get caught up in it all.
For a pretty small investment, you can purchase your new domain, park it or redirect it, ensuring that you have secured your .au and your peace of mind.
To help protect your business from opportunistic cybercriminals, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends that all Australian businesses with existing domain names register their .au equivalents before 20 September 2022. You can reserve your .au domain name by visiting an auDA accredited registrar.
Having access to a new domain might also be a great opportunity for a website refresh. Why not start by giving yourself a health check with the free Digital Ready check up tool? Then book in with one of our coaches for your free four hours of coaching.