The City of Alton has announced it is changing its domain in 2023 from cityofaltonil.com and altonpolice.com to cityofaltonil.gov. The change is expected to increase the security and searchability of the city’s online presence, while also providing a more trustworthy online identity for its users.
The Importance of .gov Domains
The use of .gov domains by government organisations and programs has been established since the 1980s. The initial standards for domains designated .com for commercial purposes and .gov for government, to maintain domain integrity and authenticity. Today, .gov domains continue to be strictly regulated, and eligibility is limited to qualified government organisations and programs.
The advantage of having a managed domain name such as .gov is that it assures users that they are accessing an official U.S. government site. Common commercial domains such as .com, .net, .org, and .us are not as tightly controlled as .gov web address extensions. This lack of control makes commercial domains more vulnerable to spoofing and other forms of cyber attacks.
The Need for Wider Acceptance of .gov Domains
Despite the benefits of using .gov domains for government organisations, wider acceptance and adoption of these domains are still lacking in many areas. Many government agencies and programs continue to use commercial domains, which can compromise the security and trust of their online presence.
The City of Alton’s decision to switch from .com to .gov is a step towards wider acceptance and adoption of .gov domains by government organisations. It demonstrates the city’s commitment to providing a more secure and trustworthy online experience for its users.
In addition to its enhanced security, the switch to .gov will also allow the City of Alton to benefit from the yearly registration process done in the .gov process. This process ensures that .gov domains remain secure and authentic, and it is a requirement for maintaining eligibility to use .gov domains.
The Future of .gov Domains
As more government organisations and programs realise the benefits of using .gov domains, it is expected that wider acceptance and adoption of these domains will become the norm. Already, many counties in Illinois have switched to .gov domains, and more are expected to follow suit.
For the City of Alton, the switch to .gov is already in effect, and the old domain names will continue to work for a period of time. Riverbender, the company that designed, maintains, and hosts the City of Alton webpage, will oversee the transition to the new domain name.
Jarvis T. Swope, Director of Information Technology for the City of Alton, emphasised that the old email addresses will still be in effect for about a year. As an example, if you send an email to [email protected], or [email protected], the e-mail will still go to him at the new cityofaltonil.com.
Swope anticipates the .gov e-mail to be active sometime later this year. This encompasses 250 users, he said.
The City of Alton’s decision to switch from .com to .gov is a positive step towards enhancing the security and trustworthiness of its online presence. By adopting .gov domains, government organisations can provide their users with a more secure and trustworthy online experience, while also benefiting from the yearly registration process done in the .gov process.
Wider acceptance and adoption of .gov domains by government organisations and programs are crucial