Businesses urged to safeguard digital identities

Priority access to .AU web domain names

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is urging Australian businesses to protect their online assets as the cut-off date for priority access to register for their shortened domain name approaches.

.au direct has launched. If you have priority, apply for your matching name by 20 September.

Direct domain names: the new .au digital address

Time is running out for businesses to secure the latest .au domain name resource and prevent an unrelated party setting up shop at the internet’s latest address. The .au domain is here!

Anything that you see on the internet, irrespective of whether it is an online store, employee portal, customer forum or article, has a unique address. This address falls under a domain name.

Domain name registrations are not just an administrative or record-keeping task for a business — they are an essential tool when it comes to carving out an exclusive identity online. Ownership of key domains can ensure customers are transacting with an authentic trader and helps prevent unauthorised third parties from capitalising on a business’ valuable reputation. Maintaining a suite of domain names also enables a website to have improved search engine rankings, consistent branding and establishes a business identity in a global online trading environment.

Businesses will have no doubt encountered some of the different third-level domain (3LD) options already available for domains in Australia. The domain name ending in .au indicates that the people or company operating the site has a business presence or connection with Australia. Soon we will have a new, snappier namespace available at the second level (2LD) domain. It is essential that traders identify whether they are eligible and take steps to secure this asset in the current priority period.

Eligibility for priority access to the .au domain

The .au domain is in high demand, so it is vital that Australian businesses take the necessary steps as soon as possible to place themselves at the top of the queue. According to data published by the Australian Domain Administration (auDA), more than 3.5 million .au domains are already reserved as at August 2022.

A business can reserve a .au domain if it already has a 3LD .au domain name registered. The existing 3LD .au domain name must have been registered before 24 March 2022 to qualify for priority status. auDA will reserve an equivalent domain name for existing registrants, provided the existing registered domain complies with eligibility requirements.

Businesses have until 20 September 2022 to apply for priority status of the exact .au match of an existing 3LD .au domain name registration. Under the priority process, names that are exact matches will be put on ‘priority hold’ to prevent them from being registered by others. The purpose of this is to give existing registrants the ability to register their priority status of the exact match. This priority holding period ends on 20 September 2022.

If no one applies for priority status, the available .au domain names are released from priority hold on 3 October 2022, after which anyone from the public can seek registration through an accredited registrar.

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Source: TaxVine