Computer users have been warned again of the dangers of typosquatting – a particular type of cybersquatting.
Writing for 6abc.com, Brian Taff noted that typos can lead to big problems when people use the web, as they can make their computer vulnerable to a virus, a scam or identity theft.
He claimed that typosquatting has reached “unprecedented levels”, as fraudsters try to take advantage of the growing popularity of online shopping and social media.
They are registering domains with similar – but not the same – spellings as popular brands, in the hope that web users visit their sites by accident.
“For instance, you may type in dot-org instead of dot-com,” Mr. Taff explained.
“Or instead of typing in Twitter.com to get the real Twitter website you may type in twitr.com and get a prize site pop-up.”
And for this reason, Mr Taff says it is important for web users to take care when typing domain names into their URL bar.
By visiting ‘fake’ websites setup by cybersquatters, computer users increase their chances of being attacked by Trojan horses, spyware and malware.
Web users may even expose themselves to identity theft, it has been suggested.
“Instead of ending up on a site that offers gifts, prizes, or sweepstakes you may end up on a phishing website site that looks just like the legitimate one,” Mr .Taff stated.
He said consumers need to take care, but also use common sense if they end up on a different website to the one they intended.
“If a website looks suspicious or fishy it probably is so exit and try again,” Mr. Taff told the news provider.