SEBRING — The Highlands County Board of County Commission has a new web domain. Highlandsfl.gov domain is live, and residents are urged to visit the county’s new website.

The former domains, hcbcc.net and hcbcc.org, will remain active for a few more months and users will be redirected to the new web domain. However, users are urged to visit the new website, highlandsfl.gov, and bookmark it or add it to their favorites in their preferred web browser.

The DotGov Program, which is part of the General Services Administration, operates the .gov top-level domain (TLD) and makes it available to U.S.-based government organizations, from federal agencies to local municipalities like Highlands County. Using a .gov domain indicates the website is an official government organization.

Like .com or .org, the .gov TLD serves a defined community of interest – but unlike other TLDs, .gov is only available to bona fide U.S.-based government organizations. Government organizations are increasingly delivering services and information digitally and using a .gov domain signals to users that the government website they are visiting, or the email they have received from a .gov email address, is legitimate.

According to the DotGov Program, one of the primary reasons .gov exists is to help the public easily identify government services on the internet.

Users may access the Highlands County Board of County Commission website at highlandsfl.gov. County employees can be reached by using the first name initial followed by the last name and ending with @highlandsfl.gov.

“All Board of County Commissioners employees’ email addresses are also changing to reflect the @highlandsfl.gov. We ask our residents and business that interact with the various Board departments, to please make note of the changes,” Randy Vosburg, Highlands County administrator, said.