fTLD Registry Services, an entity originally formed by The Financial Services Roundtable and the American Bankers Association to secure top-level domains for the banking and insurance industries, has contracted Symantec to provide verification for the newly created .bank and .insurance web domains.

The top-level domain identifies the most general part of the domain name in an Internet address, the letters to the right of the final dot on an internet address (.com, .org and .edu are the most common). There has been some interest in the financial services industry in using .bank (for instance, Chase.bank) to give customers a level of assurance that a bank's website is legit.

The fTLD applied to manage the new .bank and .insurance with the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a nonprofit that makes widely accepted rulings on Internet usage.

"The cornerstone of consumer trust in '.bank' and '.insurance' is ensuring that only verified members of the banking and insurance communities are permitted to register domain names," said Craig Schwartz, managing director of fTLD, in a released statement.

The security firm will work to prevent malicious third parties from buying domain names with those financially-related suffixes to trick customers into providing sensitive information, as well as the annoying, generally illegal act of holding popular domain names ransom for large sums of money by "verifying the eligibility of companies requesting domain names, making sure the person requesting the domain name is authorized by the company and ensuring the name requested by the company complies with fTLD's policies." Symantec will also provide secure socket layer (SSL) certification support, a form of encryption.

"Trust and security are the foundation of the banking and insurance industries," Roxane Divol, senior vice president and general manager of trust services at Symantec, said in a press release. "We are partnering with fTLD to provide an ever-greater level of assurance to customers doing online financial transactions through top-level domains."