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5 reasons why Canadians trust .CA domains

By Spencer Callaghan
Director, Brand & Communications

A tiny domain name can contain a lot of information for your website visitors.

A domain name is like your street address on the web—it tells everyone where to find you and what neighbourhood you’re in. Much like a street address, a domain name can tell you a lot about the location: Is it close to me? Is it a good area?

This is why trust is so important when it comes to choosing your domain name, and it’s exactly why we work so hard to keep .CA domains safe and secure. But don’t take our word for it, here are five reasons Canadians trust .CA domains.

1. .CA means Canada

It’s simple, .CA literally means Canada and when it comes to trust it’s hard to beat Canada’s international reputation. If your website has a .CA domain, visitors will automatically know you are Canadian, and Canucks tend to stick together.

2. Two letters and a dot—a lot of information

Let’s run a little experiment.

You’re searching for a good place to buy maple cookies as a thank you gift for the friendly lumberjack next door who helped fend off a moose attack. The top two results are:


Which website do you think is more likely to…:

  • …ship to Canada?
  • …have prices in Canadian dollars?
  • …use real Quebec Grade A Amber maple syrup?

Having a .CA domain name provides potential customers with a lot of information before they even click on your link. Knowing your business caters specifically to Canadians increases a potential customer’s confidence and answers a bunch of their questions before they even hit your website.

3. Canadian presence requirement

There’s a woman named Mildred (not her real name) who works at the compliance department here at CIRA. Mildred recognizes that many people wish they were Canadian (because we’re so awesome!), but reeeeeeeally doesn’t like it when Californians, Catalonians, or chartered accountants from Casablanca try to register a .CA domain name. That’s because CIRA enforces a Canadian Presence Requirement that means only people or businesses that have a presence in Canada can register a .CA domain.

Why does this matter? Because we have a compliance department that oversees all .CA registrations, it is much harder for bad dudes with scary hoodies to register a .CA domain name for nefarious purposes.

Now I know what you’re saying, “But Mr. Callaghan, doesn’t every country have these rules?”. First, Mr. Callaghan is my father; call me Spencer. Second, nope, they don’t. In fact, some domains like .co used to be exclusively for Colombia but are now open to pretty much anyone.

4. .CA domains are secure

First, some real talk, nothing is 100 per cent secure. If the strategic maple syrup reserves can be infiltrated, nothing is infallible.

That being said, .CA domains are among the safest on the interwebs. The SpamHaus Project, an international nonprofit organization that tracks spam and related cyber threats such as phishing, malware and botnets, has a list of the 10 Most Abused Top Level Domains.

The worst domain is .tk, the country code TLD for Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand, with a Badness Index (their term, which I love) of 5.33. The Badness Index takes into account things such as domains that are used to send spam, domains that host malware and other sketchy activities.

So what is the Badness Index of .CA? A measly 0.05, which indicates that only 0.9% of all .CA domains are used maliciously. For context, here are the Badness Index scores of other popular TLDs:

  • .com: 5.3% bad (score 0.66)
  • .net = 4.5% bad (score 0.44)
  • .org = 3.5% bad (score 0.30)
  • .biz = 18.6% bad (score 1.58)
  • .info = 10.5% bad (score 0.95)

To be clear, the Badness Index is not ironic. That would be the Badass Index, which we lead by a wide margin.

5. We protect personal information by default

If you are registering a .CA domain as a business or corporation, your contact information will be part of an online database called WHOIS. It’s basically a way to find out what companies own what domains.

But what if you’re an individual who doesn’t want their home address published on the internet?

We thought of that, which is why all .CA domains that are registered by individuals include free WHOIS privacy protection. If someone searches for a domain that is registered by an individual the contact information is redacted. If someone wants to contact the owner of a domain with privacy protection, they have to use the Message Delivery Form on our website which forwards the domain to the registrant.

So there you have it. Canadians trust .CA because, like one of those winter hats with the flaps on them (what are those called anyway?), .CA domains have your back, or ears, whatever.

A .CA domain declares your business is proudly Canadian

About the author
Spencer Callaghan

Spencer Callaghan is the senior manager, brand & communications at CIRA. He is a writer, former journalist, and has experience in technology, non-profit, and agency environments throughout his career. His areas of expertise include content marketing, social media, branding, and public relations.