What You Need To Know About Typosquatting

An example of Typosquatting

So far, I’ve covered: launch jacking, brandjacking, cybersquatting, and nichejacking on this website, although there is one thing I haven’t covered yet. It’s a variation of cybersquatting called “Typosquatting”.

What Is Typosquatting?

If you couldn’t tell based on the image above, typosquatting is where a cybersquatter attempts to steal the traffic of a website by registering typo-filled versions of the original domain.. The reason this works is because typos and misspellings are so common on the Internet that when a typical Internet user makes a mistake in the address bar when searching for a website, a typosquatter can take advantage of this opportunity to receive traffic for their own websites

What Is The Purpose Of Typosquatting?

Typosquatting serves a few purposes. One purpose is to send other Internet users over to an affiliate website either by using the domain name with the website or by 301 redirecting the website to a different domain name.

Is Typosquatting Illegal?

While typosquatting isn’t exactly illegal, it can be seen as a form of brandjacking if the owner of the domain can prove that you have malicious intent. If typosquatting is instead seen as a form of cybersquatting, then it would still be considered illegal under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.

How To Prevent Typosquatting

The best way to prevent typosquatting is by registering common misspellings and typos of your domain name. For example for my domain (www.sycosure.com), I would register the following domain names to prevent a typosquatter from profiting off my traffic:

  • www.psychosure.com
  • www.cyclesure.com
  • www.sighcosure.com
  • www.syscosure.com
  • www.sycosur.com
  • www.sucosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com
  • www.sycosure.com

Notice how in this hypothetical situation I used misspellings caused by misstyping and phonetic variations of my domain name. This is similar to the technique employed by typosquatters to receive accidental traffic to their websites.

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