Act on domain name changes to prevent corporate identity theft

  • Domain name versions without .com, .net, .org etc. will soon be publicly available
  • Businesses and organisations urged to register the .au only version of their name
  • Failing to register .au versions could result in identity theft and financial loss

Businesses and organisations are urged to take urgent action on planned domain name changes to prevent the possibility of their corporate identity being stolen and their contacts being scammed.

.au Domain Administration Limited (auDA), which administers the rules for domain names that include the .au country code, will soon introduce the option of registering names with just the .au, removing the .com, .net, .org or other variations. This means that both ‘’ and ‘’, for example, can be registered to either the same or different owners.

Owners with domain names that end in; or etc., who want to protect their identity or brand, have until 20 September 2022 to apply to be given priority status to claim their current domain names with just the .au suffix. Proof of association will be required.

From 3 October 2022, unclaimed .au only domain names will be available to the general public for registration, creating fears that cyber criminals may use this as an opportunity to steal identities.

Acting Executive Director for Consumer Protection Penny Lipscombe said businesses and organisations need to act quickly to protect their trading and brand names.

“While the change to shorter domain names is designed to simplify, cyber criminals are rubbing their collective hands together with the chance of financial gain by perpetrating identity theft to deceive customers, contractors and members associated with the business or organisation,” Ms Lipscombe said.

“Prevent cybercriminals from registering a .au domain name and use it to impersonate your business by getting in first and registering where you have already registered before the deadline.

“Where a domain name is contested, such as when one business owns and another owns, a process known as priority allocation will be used to determine who is able to register their .au equivalent.”

Domain names that currently just have .com, .net .org etc. without the .au will not be affected by this change.

If you want to register the .au direct match equivalent of your existing domain name, you will need to apply for Priority Status before 8am WA time on 21 September 2022. To check your priority category or see if there are other registrants eligible for the .au direct name you seek, you can use auDA’s Priority Status Tool.


Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 /  

Consumer Protection
Media release
25 Aug 2022

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