Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


What is typosquatting?

Dave, I just bumped into the phrase "typosquatting" and have absolutely no idea what it is. Can you enlighten me, please?

I'm not surprised you don't know what it means - as far as I can tell, it entered the common lexicon just a few days ago. Surprisingly, it doesn't have anything to do with weightlifting while copyediting manuscripts, either.

In fact, typosquatting is a variation on domain squatting, which is when unscrupulous folk buy up domains with the express purpose of selling them to someone else for a hefty markup. For example, if you were to announce that you were selling a new product called Ptoi Tobacco, before the day was out someone else would inevitably register all obvious domain names associated with your product name. Then you'd be stuck having to negotiate with them or pursuing a trademark violation suit with WIPO or similar.

Typosquatting is a subtle variation...

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