The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is warning banks of all sizes to protect their Internet domain names by applying internal controls to “prevent customer confusion, reputation harm, fraud, and legal disputes.”

Christie A. Sciacca, director of the FDIC’s bank technology group, said in a letter to top management at all FDIC-supervised banks that disputes involving Web domain names are on the rise.

Ms. Sciacca cautioned banks about outfits that create Web sites with domain names similar to those of established Internet addresses in an attempt to get people’s passwords and other sensitive information.

In some cases, she noted, they use these sound-alike names to publish harmful information about an organization.

She said timely registration and renewal of domain names is one of the easiest ways to protect a Web address.

She also advised that bank management consider having more than one domain name and be alert to unauthorized changes to the domain name server.

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