From 24 March 2022, anyone with a local connection to Australia (including businesses, associations and individuals) will be able to register a new category of domain name. These shorter simpler domain names will end in .au rather than .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .gov.au or .edu.au. All Australian businesses will have until 20 September to reserve their .au equivalent domain name, then it becomes available to the general public.
This new category of domain name allows users to register shorter, more memorable online names; however it also creates another avenue for cybercriminals to conduct fraudulent cyber activities. Opportunistic cybercriminals could register your .au domain name in an attempt to impersonate your business.
For example, if you have currently registered yourbusiness.com.au, a cybercriminal could register yourbusiness.au or yourbusinesscom.au and use these domains to conduct fraudulent cyber activities.
How to protect yourself
To help protect your business from opportunistic cybercriminals, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends that all Australian businesses with existing domain names register their .au equivalents before 20 September 2022. If a business does not reserve their .au equivalent direct domain name during this six-month period, that name will become available to the public on a first come, first served basis.
You can reserve your .au domain name by visiting an auDA accredited registrar.
Further information on these changes and the registration process is available on auda.org.au/au-domain-names: