With the launch of various new TLDs over the last few years, it has become a near-impossible task for Brand owners to protect their brand across new TLDS. Brand owners are faced with huge risks of cyber squatters registering their key brands across various TLDs, and more concerning, brand abuse where we have seen companies’ brands being misused by cyber squatters, costing companies thousands in remedies to overcome brand abuse as well as recovering these domain names.

In this article, we look at some of the key TLDs you should consider as part of your overall brand protection strategy.


.co is the country code domain name for Colombia. In 2010 registration rules were relaxed meaning there were no registration requirements for this TLD – anyone could register these domains. Since then, we have seen .co surge in popularity as it is seen as a typo for .com and is also seen as an abbreviation for ‘company’.


Similarly, to the .co TLD, .cm, which is the country code domain name for Cameroon, is a highly sought after TLD due to its similarity to .com. It is very easy for users to mistype .com and instead type .cm, so this is seen as a popular TLD that companies will consider registering as part of their ongoing brand protection strategy.


.IO is the country code TLD for the British Indian Ocean Territory; however, it has become popular and widely used among tech companies and startups. .IO domains often allow startups to get much shorter, simpler domains, which also then reflects across their email addresses. The interesting thing about .IO as well is that Google also treats it as a Generic Top Level Domain, which means SEO efforts can be maximized using this TLD.


In more recent times we have seen a surge in .com.ai brand abuse registrations, which is the country code TLD for Anguilla. Yes, it may be a bit of a left-field country code to register your brands in; however, it is considered an important TLD for many Australian businesses for Brand Protection purposes due to its similarity and typo links to .com.au, which can cause confusion to Australian customers and potential damage to companies brand and reputation. Talk to Brandsec on how we can assist your companies Brand Protection strategies through our various service offerings.


As of January 2016, .xyz was the sixth most registered domain name on the Internet. As of June 2016, .xyz was the fourth most registered global top-level domain (gTLD) name on the Internet, after .com, .net, and .org. It was given away for free by some Registrars and as such attracted a swarm of cyber criminals. The volume of registrations significantly reduced when renewal notices were sent an needed to be paid for, but it still stands out as a TLD to watch.

Spamhaus Domain Abuse Project

Clever engineers in Spamhaus, the world leader in supplying real-time highly accurate threat intelligence to the Internet’s major networks, have created what is known as the TLD ‘BadAss Index”.

They defined “bad” in two ways. On one side, the ratio of bad to good domains may be higher than average, indicating that the registry could do a better job of enforcing policies and shunning abusers. However, some TLDs with a high fraction of bad domains may be quite small, and their total number of bad domains could be relatively limited with respect to other, bigger TLDs. Their total “badness” to the Internet is limited by their small total size.

The other side is that some large TLDs may have a large number of bad domains as a result of the sheer size of their domain corpus. Even if their corrective measures are effective, they still constitute a problem on the global scale, and they could assign further resources to improve their anti-abuse processes and bring down the overall number of bad domains.

As of 13 April 2021, the TLDs with the worst reputations for spam operations are:

About brandsec

Brandsec is a corporate domain name management and brand protection company that look after many of Australia, New Zealand and Asia’s top publicly listed brands. We provide monitoring and enforcement services, DNS, SSL Management, domain name brokerage and dispute management and brand security consultation services.




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