Beware the 'typosquatters' - AmericaNowNews.com

'Typosquatters' on the web

  • Beware the 'typosquatters'More>>

  • TechTips

    "Web washers" cover your online tracks

    "Web washers" cover your online tracks

    Anyone can search your web history in your web browser. It's even easier in the search box, because most have an auto-complete feature that fills in the history for you, leading to what can be uncomfortable situations.
    Anyone can search your web history in your web browser. It's even easier in the search box, because most have an auto-complete feature that fills in the history for you, leading to what can be uncomfortable situations.
  • Scam emails from legit addresses

    Scam emails coming from legit address names

    Check your email carefully!  New messages look like they're from legitimate agencies, but con artists are using them as a ruse to gain access and do damage to your computer.  Experts have been giving
    Check your email carefully!  New messages look like they're from legitimate agencies, but con artists are using them as a ruse to gain access and do damage to your computer.
  • Tips for better online safety

    Tips for better online safety

    Whether you're checking your email, tracking finances online or even playing a game, your connection to the internet can open the door to hackers. These days, that is truer than ever. Peter Ireland is
    Computer hacking is getting increasingly worse. Here are a few tips that will help you stay out of trouble on the internet.

Have you ever heard of a "typosquatter"?  There are thousands of them on the web.  

They are people who purposely create a domain name based on frequent typos internet users make when they try to visit popular sites.  Sometimes typosquatters are just using it as a technique to drive traffic to their own business, but you need to know about this for another reason - cybercriminals love to typosquat.

Because cybercriminals go where the action is, they wait for websites to get popular and then they register domain names based on popular mis-spellings of the real website.  Once the typosquatter lures you to their site, they use all types of tricks to get you to give them your personal information or to click on links so they can install malware on your computer. 

WHY THEY DO IT:

1.  The typosquatters love household brand names and large companies such as Walmart and Apple - the bigger they are, the more traffic that might come there way via a typo

2.  They can lure customers to these rogue sites and take information or infect their computers

3.  In some cases, they know that people will mis-spell the domain name for email accounts and they will read any emails sent to the wrong domain name.

RECENT TYPOSQUATTER EXAMPLES:

Instead of Walmart.com some people typed in Wallmatt.com

Apple.com became Appple.com

Youtube.com was replaced with Yuube.com

Airfrance.com with Arifrance.com

Researchers at one firm set up typosquat domain names to test out a theory that people mis-spell domain names often on email addresses sent to companies.  In this test they were able to gather over 20 megabytes of information via emails sent with a typo in the email domain name!

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1.  Slow down:  We are all multi tasking and surfing the net on various devices.  Before you hit enter, double check the website.

2.  Frequent visitors:  Use bookmarks for sites you visit frequently.

3.  Report:  If you see typosquatting or suspect you have, report it to www. FTC.gov and to the actual merchant you were trying to visit.  Most companies have a "contact us" form on the internet that you can use. 

4.  Beat the Typosquatters:  If you own domain names, consider purchasing close spellings or popular mis-spellings of the domain. 

Some companies are so worried about their customers that they purposely create mis-spelled domain names and send redirects to the correct site. 

For example:  If you accidentally type in amzon.com, Amazon will redirect you to amazon.com.

This problem is so serious that Facebook has actually sued typosquatters for creating sites spelled similar to Facebook.com such as facebobk.com and facemook.com. 

WEB RESOURCES:

You can actually check for variations on a website name.  Remember, not all variations of a website means they are criminals, some might be legitimate. 

An interesting test you can try is on the Vera Labs site at:  http://veralab.com/dnsdomainsearch/typo-squatters.jsp

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:04 AM EDT2014-08-29 14:04:54 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
Powered by WorldNow