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Beware of Cybersquatters!

Have you ever mistyped a URL while looking for a specific website and ended up on a completely different, often suspicious site? This practice, known as cybersquatting, not only undermines the digital presence of businesses and individuals but also presents a serious challenge in the dynamic realm of cyber security. It's possible to fall victim to a cybersquatted domain without even realizing it.

Here's what you should know about this form of cybercrime:

What is Cybersquatting?

Cybersquatting, or domain squatting, is the malicious act of registering a domain name that is deceptively similar to that of a well-known entity, whether it's a company, organization, or individual. The primary intent is usually financial gain, as cybersquatters attempt to profit from the reputation and success of established brands. The impact of cybersquatting goes beyond financial damage, potentially tarnishing the reputation of its targets.

Types of Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting can take various forms, each posing unique threats. Here are the most prevalent types:

  1. Top-Level Domain (TLD) Exploitation: A TLD is the last segment of a domain name, like ".com," "," or ".org." It's challenging for small to medium-sized businesses and public figures to secure every possible TLD variation of their name. Cybercriminals exploit this by registering similar domains under different TLDs, which they use for harmful activities such as hosting offensive content or launching phishing attacks, often demanding payment from the legitimate domain owners for removal.

  2. Typosquatting: This involves the deliberate registration of misspelled domain names to capture traffic from common typing errors. These sites typically lead to malicious websites. For instance, variations of "" might include:


Such misspellings can attract significant traffic due to the frequency of typos.

  1. Look-Alike Cybersquatting: In this method, cybersquatters register domains that include common words or slight alterations that might not seem misleading at first glance but are designed to deceive. For example:
  • Original:
  • Original:
    Lookalike: or
  • Original:

These domains may not appear deceptive initially but are effective in misleading users.

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How to Protect Yourself from Cybersquatting

To safeguard against becoming a victim of cybersquatting, adopting proactive measures is key. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Register Your Trademark: Early trademark registration can bolster your protection under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). While these laws also protect unregistered trademarks, owning a registered trademark simplifies the process as you won't need to prove prior business use before the disputed domain was registered. Although not mandatory, having a registered trademark can provide clearer legal leverage.

  2. Invest in Multiple Prominent TLDs: Secure your domain name across popular Top-Level Domains (TLDs) such as .com, .net, .co, and .org. This preemptive approach minimizes the risk of others registering a similar domain under a different TLD.

  3. Exercise Caution with Web Navigation: Pay close attention when entering URLs in your browser and verify you're visiting the intended site. Be wary of clicking on links directly; instead, hover your mouse over them to see if the URL matches your expectations. For added security, manually type URLs into your browser's address bar.

Cybersquatting is just one tactic in the arsenal of methods used by cybercriminals to target businesses and individuals. They continuously devise new schemes to perpetrate fraud and theft. If you're looking to enhance your cyber defenses and ensure comprehensive protection for yourself and your organization, we're here to assist.

We'll conduct a FREE, no-obligation Security Risk Assessment where we'll examine your network security solutions to identify if and where you're vulnerable to an attack and help you create a plan of action to ensure you're protected. Click here to book a 10-minute Discovery Call with our team to get started.