The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Bruce Billson, has warned small businesses there’s only one week left to take action to avoid their internet identity being sold to someone else.
“opportunistic cybercriminals could register your .au domain name in an attempt to impersonate your business”. – Bruce Billson
Please do have a full read of the government media release published on the ASBFEO.gov.au website for complete details – https://www.asbfeo.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/one-week-left-secure-your-digital-identity-dont-get-caught-short
Essentially this ombudsman has argued that not securing a .au domain name for your business can leave it open to “opportunistic cybercriminals…to impersonate your business”.
I’m in two schools of thought regarding this concern…but they don’t necessarily conflict heavily:
From a digital marketing perspective, you could shoot yourself in the foot:
If you were to purchase any domain other than your primary website domain, for example, .info or .au then you need to take Google’s perspective on 301 redirects into account:
- 301 redirects must be done correctly so as to not appear as duplicate online content
- You can be penalised in rank and subsequent website traffic if you do not 301 redirect properly
- I would personally avoid entire domain 301 redirecting so as to not put any undue pressure on Google’s evaluation of your website or online profiles
- Instead of 301 redirecting to your primary domain name, for example, redirecting all incoming traffic from nimblenerds.au to nimblenerds.com.au, you should put a ‘parked domain name’ notification – this means you own it but you’re not creating redirects or duplicate content on this ‘parked’ domain
- If you’d like to learn advanced concepts around 301’ing your new domain name check out the very highly regarded Yoast’s article on the matter: https://yoast.com/6-questions-about-redirects-for-seo/#:~:text=Are%20redirects%20bad%20for%20SEO,PageRank%20to%20loss%20of%20traffic.
From a cyber security perspective, sometimes pre-emptive action is the only option:
If you’re unsure what to do and would prefer to err on the side of caution for a small annual expense then you’re best off buying the domain name.
But the same really can be said about your businessname.info or the myriad of other domain types that could be put at the end of your domain name.
There’s no indication as to why .au would necessarily need to be more secure than .info or .net or net.au, they’re all open to impersonation if you don’t buy them all.
This is the first serious ombudsman notification though, so it’s made me feel more cautious than the others, but that is the only indicator as to why it’s any different; that the government made the statement about it.
It’s left unsaid if they feel the same about other domain name possibilities.
I’m personally going to take action, because for a small fee, it’s worth the caution.
If you want to take action, here's what we can do:
So we are a wholesaler of domain names!
We can not only sell you your .au and pop you an annual invoice for yourdomainname.au for $25 per year but we can also provide the hosting if you’d like a website established under that domain name.
If you’d like to redirect (not recommended, very advanced) or put a single page notification rather than a ‘site not found’ we can provide monthly website and email hosting for $15 per month.
The hosting isn’t necessary, you can just secure your domain name for $25 per year.
Contact us and we can get onto it for you and send you an invoice.
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