Modern technology gives us many things.

The dangers of mis-spelling a website’s address


OK, so you’ve accidentally mis-spelled a site’s address – no harm done right? Wrong – you could fall prey to a  “typo-squatter”.

Typo-squatters rely on users mis-spelling the names of popular websites in the hope of landing visitors like a bug in a spider’s web and capitalising on their error.

A study by internet security company Sophos has showed these typo-squatters may try and infect your computer and try and gain personal information.  

Sophos conducted a study by looking for registered websites using every combination of just one letter typos of popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple and Microsoft.

The company even included in the search mis-spells of its own Sophos website.

And the results were alarming with 2249 domain names registered with one-letter mis-spells of these popular sites.

Sophos found 738 of these sites – 5.1 per cent – were classified as cyber crime or adult sites.

Others were classed as “bait and switch” sites and hijacked the names of famous brands to get your attention.

“A good web security product can protect you from the most egregious typo-squatting sites,” says Sophos’s Paul Ducklin, Head of Technology, Asia Pacific.

“But even with technological help, it’s inevitable that from time to time a typo will take you to an unintended website. When that happens, please don’t be tempted to click through from the unexpected page, even if what you are apparently offered is a link to your intended destination.

“Why trust a site you didn’t want to visit in the first place? Why feed an economy which is based upon profiting from other people’s mistakes?”

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