The City of Ocala announced on Thursday that its website has transitioned to DotGov, a “top-level domain” that is only available to U.S. government organizations and publicly controlled entities.
The new domain name is www.ocalafl.gov. Previously, the city operated with a DotOrg domain.
DotGov domain names cannot be purchased and are only provided after extensive authentication through Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which makes it impossible to spoof or mirror a web/email address for fraudulent activities.
Additionally, DotGov domains cannot be used to distribute or promote advertisements benefiting private entities or individuals. “Citizens can rest assured knowing they are on a secure site when interacting with the city, understanding communications received from any ocalafl.gov email address are legitimate,” stated the city in a press release.
Requests for the DotGov domain are made through CISA and qualification is not an easy process. As a local government agency, the City of Ocala was required to submit letters of recommendation and successfully complete an authentication process, which included the provision of legislation, city charter, applicable bylaws, and other documentation.
Once approved by CISA, the domain is made available to the government organization without a fee.
The City of Ocala received approval for its new domain in August 2022, and the implementation process took nearly a year to complete. A full integration to the DotGov domain occurred earlier this month, and the previous domain (ocalafl.org) migrated to the new secure website (ocalafl.gov).
“The use of DotGov for our city website strengthens security for our organization as well as our residents,” stated Winsome Jacobs, Ocala’s Director of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer. “It reinforces the city’s website and communications from our staff are trusted sources of information.”