Brands warned of incoming ‘.sucks’ domain

25/03/2015

An influx of new domain names are going on sale in June, including the potentially harmful .suck domain... and businesses are urged to make informed decisions about how to protect themselves.

In less than three months, the general public will be able to buy a number of new website domain extensions.

Alongside potentially helpful domain endings such as boutique, .support, .travel, there are also more sinister extensions, including .sucks, .fail and more adult .xxx and .porn.

These domains could be hijacked by disgruntled customers, competitors or used to host inappropriate material.

Companies will have to decide whether it's worth $2,500 a year to tie up a .sucks address during a 60-day early access period set aside for trademark owners and celebrities that begins March 30. If they don't, anyone in the world will be able to register the name and set up their own protest site.

Another controversial new suffix, .porn, has already begun its early access period, drawing registrations from Microsoft, Harvard University and even pop star Taylor Swift.

Celebrities have more experience with the problems that may arise, having dealt with a barrage of new web site names when the .xxx suffix opened for business four years ago.

The American non-profit group expanded the number of generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, such as .com and .net in 2011.

There were 22 four years ago but now there are nearly 550 with new ones released every month.

The group says different endings to web addresses can help users arrive at their destination quicker because they know what they're getting.

It also says websites ending in .porn or .adult are easier for parents to monitor and block.

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