Over the past few months, some sources have warned that the pandemic led to a surge in coronavirus-related domain registrations. According to the sources, these domains were likely to be used for fraud or to the detriment of public health.
LACTLD conducted a research to verify these claims with data from Latin America and the Caribbean. To that end, a survey was carried out among the registries in the region (with a response rate of 85 percent). The results show that domains including words related to COVID-19 do not represent a significant part of new registrations. In turn, among those domains, the proportion that has received complaints for misuse is quite minimal.
LACTLD members reported the number of new domains registered with words like coronavirus, covid, virus, sars, corona, pandemic, pandemia. A total of 1739 registrations with these terms were identified since the beginning of the pandemic. This amount represents only 0.58 percent of the total number of registrations in the period.
Only 11.5 percent of ccTLDs surveyed received reports of abusive or malicious use in domains registered with terms related to coronavirus. It is important to note that these complaints represent less than 1 percent of the aforementioned domains.
The results of the survey show that registration of domains related to COVID-19 is far from alarming for the countries in the region, and that cases of abuse have been quite limited.