Real estate agencies are reminded that there are less than three weeks to register their business’ .au only version of their website.
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A failure to take action could see their corporate identity stolen and their contacts scammed, the government of Western Australia’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety has warned.
It’s reminding the owners of domain names ending in “.com.au” and/or “.net.au” and/or “.org.au” etc. that they have until 20 September 2022 to apply to be given priority status to claim their current domain names with the “.au” suffix.
Proof of association will be required to register.
Then, from 3 October 2022, any unclaimed .au only domain names will be available to the general public for registration.
According to acting executive director for consumer protection Penny Lipscombe, it’s led experts to fear that cyber criminals may use this as an opportunity to steal identities.
She is urging businesses and organisations to act quickly to protect their trading and brand names.
“While the change to shorter domain names is designed to simplify, cyber criminals are rubbing their collective hands together with the chance of financial gain by perpetrating identity theft to deceive customers, contractors and members associated with the business or organisation,” she commented.
“Prevent cybercriminals from registering a .au domain name and use it to impersonate your business by getting in first and registering yourbusiness.au where you have already registered yourbusiness.com.au before the deadline.”
Where a domain name is contested, Ms Lipscombe said that a process known as priority allocation would be used to determine who is able to register their “.au” equivalent.
Ms Lipscombe’s warning follows a similar statement from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman last month.
REB has previously considered whether it’s worthwhile for Australian real estate businesses to “drop the dot com”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.
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