Typo squatting is a term that you may have never heard of, and rightly so, as it sounds like something you would hear to describe an English seminar or some strange way to wait for a new computer release. The meaning behind it is actually much more sinister than it seems at first glance. The internet is a vast resource that many people will go out of their way to exploit in some way, and sadly, this is one of those ways. Businesses new and old need to make sure that their brand is protected and trademarked before they try to create a URL for their website, as typo squatting could happen to anyone, regardless of their success or station. Typo squatting occurs when you type in the URL for a site, but accidentally misspelled the URL, taking you to the wrong site, and potentially putting you at risk.

“That doesn’t seem very fair,” you might think. “It was just a quick slip-up with one letter, how bad could it be?”

People buy the domains for sites that are spelled similarly to more popular sites hoping you accidentally go there instead. This ensures that they receive revenue from your mistake, while also potentially introducing your computer to malware.

Most typo squatters won’t actively attempt to put malware on their sites as these misspelled domains are a decent source of revenue for them. They want to avoid blacklisting their sites.

That being said, some typo squatters have set up multiple domains with malicious intent. Even if the sites are taken down, your computer may already have been damaged.

Preventing typo squatting is easy: just double-check what you are typing in.

You are the best gatekeeper for your computer and only you can manage what sites you are going on, accidentally or otherwise.

Keep your wits about you and your fingers steady when surfing the web, and always be careful of what you type.