Dangers of Leaving Your Brand’s Domain Name Available
Launched on 24 March 2022, the .au direct domain name allows your Australian business to use a shorter, location-specific domain name.
Instead of having to choose from one of the following:
you can simply opt for a simpler, shorter .au domain name.
Now that this new ccTLD option is available in Australia, you may be exposing your business to online risks if you do not take any action.
Inaction Subjects Your Brand to Online Risks
While is there will be no significant change to your brand and business operations for now, that might not be the case after 20 September 2022.
In about six months’ time, all .au direct domain names which are not reserved by their equivalent domain name owners will become available to the general public.
This means anyone can get hold of the shorter .au version of your current business domain(s).
You are Allowing Cybercriminals to Leverage on Your Brand
In order to conduct fraudulent activity, some cybercriminals make use of a domain name to direct unsuspecting internet users to their website.
If your business’ .au domain name is available to such cyber criminals, it can be used to redirect your customers to a fake website that looks similar to yours. Your customers may be tricked into clicking on a domain that is not owned by you simply because it is showing the same brand as your business.
By the time you or your customers realise what is happening, cybercriminals will have already achieved their goals.
One Mistake Can Tarnish Your Brand
When cybercriminals get hold of your business’ .au direct domain, they could easily damage the reputation of your brand from the suspicious activity they do.
Brand damage is detrimental to your business because it takes a lot more effort to build brand loyalty and to regain the trust of customers who had a bad experience.
You May Lose Potential Customers
We all know just how important every single customer is. Even one unhappy customer can dissuade other potential customers from a brand.
While cybercriminals target your those who already know your business and trust your brand, damage to your brand reputation affects not just your current customers but also potential future customers.
This means your brand may suffer not only in the short-term, but also long after cybercriminals have stopped using your new .au equivalent domain.
My Business is Not Online Therefore I Need Not Worry
If you only have a brick-and-mortar business, your customers may not be spared.
Australians have been shopping online since 2020 and are assuming many of their favourite stores have created an online presence. This makes them an easy target for cybercriminals since you do not have an existing one for them to compare to.
How Can You Protect Your Brand?
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends all business owners to reserve your .au domain name before it becomes available to the public.
Once it is released for the public to purchase, anyone can buy and reserve your .au domain name. Your brand may be exposed to the above aforementioned dangers, regardless of whether you are an exclusively online or offline brand.
Aside from protecting your brand and online customers, there are also other benefits the new .au direct domain can bring to your business.
All you need to do is register and reserve your .au equivalent domain name now.
You can also take extra precaution by monitoring all your domains, this helps ensure none of them is used for fraudulent activity.
Take these simple steps to safeguard your brand today.
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