Are you ready for Australian domain name changes?

Australian Cyber Security Centre

Anyone with an Australian presence (including businesses, organisations and individuals) can now register a new category of domain name, known as .au direct. These shorter simpler domain names will end in simply ‘.au’ (e.g. mybusiness.au) and will complement existing namespaces such as ‘com.au’, ‘net.au’, ‘org.au’, ‘asn.au’, ‘id.au’, ‘gov.au’ and ‘edu.au’.

Existing domain name licence holders have been provided priority to register the .au direct equivalent of their domain names until 20 September 2022, after which domain names that have not been allocated will become available to the general public.

This new option for domain names creates opportunities for businesses, organisations and individuals, however, could also provide another opportunity for cybercriminals, such as by facilitating fraudulent activity like business email compromise. For example, by registering yourbusiness.au where you have already registered yourbusiness.com.au in order to impersonate your business.

The ACSC recommends that all Australian businesses, organisations and individuals consider taking advantage of the priority allocation process to register the .au direct equivalents of their existing domain names. In cases where conflicts occur, such as when different organisations own similar domain names (e.g. mybusiness.com.au and mybusiness.net.au), priority allocation will help to determine who is able to register their .au direct equivalent. Until 20 September 2022, registrants of .au domain names licensed before the launch of .au direct have priority to apply for the matching .au direct domain name.

Businesses, organisations and individuals who have registered a domain name outside of Australia can also consider registering an .au direct domain name. For example, a business that currently holds mybusiness.com should consider registering mybusiness.au. This will prevent cybercriminals from registering these domain names in the future and using them for attempted financial fraud.

You can reserve your .au direct domain name by visiting an auDA accredited registrar.

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