The introduction of a new .safe domain name that can only be registered by banks and other financial services firms would help protect customers from bogus phishing sites, says digital security firm F-Secure.
F-Secure has called on Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) - the organisation responsible for the global coordination of the Web's system of unique identifiers - to introduce the .safe domain.
Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer at F-Secure, says: "Banks need to take on some of the responsibility for protecting their customers and using a secure domain name such as .safe will give customers the reassurance they need when banking online."
Hyppönen says customers have no good way of automatically being able to tell whether or not a bank Web site belongs to the bank. He says the introduction of a .safe domain would provide online customers the reassurance they need that banking via the Internet is safe.
The availability of a .safe or .sure domain would also enable security providers to create better software and products, he says.
"If .safe or .sure is locked down, then security companies would have a much better set of assumptions to start with when filtering e-mail and Web traffic," adds Hyppönen. "Security providers would then be able to build a better security product and users would feel safe online."
Last year IT security association CUISPA reported one of the largest bulk registrations of credit union-like domains ever seen after online typosquatters began targeting US credit unions.
Typosquatters register domain names containing trademarked terms or misspelled words that closely resemble legitimate Web sites in a bid to direct traffic to their own sites.