• Transform magazine
  • August 25, 2019

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New domains threaten brand security

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New web domains are currently popping up left right and centre, but with everything from .london to .shop and .sport becoming available for monopolisation, brand security is coming under attack.

Recent research from NetNames, an online brand protection and domain name management specialist, shows that almost nine in ten business respondents believe that new generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs) will threaten their brands and trademarks.

New domain names will facilitate cybersquatting, or domain squatting; using traffic diversion and counterfeiting to profit from a legitimate brand or trademark. This activity can be very damaging to the brand in question’s reputation.

Gary McIlraith, CEO at NetNames, says, “The launch of thousands of new domain endings is about to reshape the online landscape, effectively opening up another front for cybercriminals to carry out fraudulent activity against businesses and their customers.”

One option for business-owners looking to protect their brand is to register their own domains in as many different forms as possible. They can therefore ensure that they have complete control over their brand communications.

Head of PIPCU, detective chief inspector Andy Fyfe, says, “We would advise any business that is concerned about brand safety to register as many domain name variants associated with their brand as possible. The less options that are available to counterfeiters, the better the protection for the brand. We know of brands that have bought hundreds of different domain names to avoid criminals from ripping off their name and products. Additionally, brands have the option of complaining to ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, if they identify that someone has registered a domain using false whois details. You can find out more by visiting the ICANN website.”