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Warning of Issues Threatening Your Website Security 

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Venues are being warned to take urgent action ahead of major changes to Australian websites coming in September.

Most venues in Australia will have registered a .com.au or even a .net.au domain name. You have this because you have an Australian based business, with a valid ABN, and it’s a quick and easy way of letting your customers know that you are a credible entity.

However, as of March 2022, there is a new variant of domain names available in Australia, which could affect the security of your brand. So, what do you need to know and what are the risks for your venue?

How are domain names changing in Australia?

Australians now have access to shorter and simpler domain names with the introduction of direct .au domain names.

It used to be that it was only possible to license domain names, such as com.au, net.au, org.au, and so on. Now, however, any business in Australia can register and use a shorter domain name, such as yourvenue.au rather than yourvenue.com.au.

If you already have a domain name ending in .au, and you registered it before 24 March 2022, the matching, shorter domain, or .au, has automatically been placed on a 6-month priority hold for you – meaning that you have the first option to register it if you get there in time!

After this 6-month priority period, the .au domain will become available to the general public on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, which is why the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is recommending that all Australian businesses with existing domain names register the .au equivalents as quickly as possible. Registrars set the retail price so it’s worth shopping around to find a registrar with a competitive price, however, you can expect to pay in the range of $20 to $30.

What Should You Do?

Be prepared to register your .au direct domain by following these steps:

  • Review your current domain’s contact information to ensure that everything is current and accurate.
  • Check Whois lookup to ensure the eligibility info (that is, ABN, ACN, etc.) listed on your domain is current and accurate.
  • Check if your domain is eligible for priority status by using auDA’s priority status tool.
  • Once you’re ready, you can apply for your .au domain through your existing domain name registrar. 

If you would like to know more, or if you would like support with registering your .au domain or digital marketing, please feel welcome to contact our Digital Marketing Advisor, Lauren Neilson, via email on lauren@dws.net.au or give her a call on mobile 0490 332 462.

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