n. (context Internet English) A form of cybersquatting that involves the registration of domain names likely to be mistyped by users, e.g. ''exmaple.com'' for ''example.com''.
Typosquatting, also called URL hijacking, a sting site, or a fake URL, is a form of cybersquatting, and possibly brandjacking which relies on mistakes such as typographical errors made by Internet users when inputting a website address into a web browser. Should a user accidentally enter an incorrect website address, they may be led to any URL (including an alternative website owned by a cybersquatter).
The typosquatter's URL will usually be one of four kinds, all similar to the victim site address (e.g. example.com):
- A common misspelling, or foreign language spelling, of the intended site:
- A misspelling based on typos:
- A differently phrased domain name: examples.com
- A different top-level domain: example.org
- An abuse of the Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD): example.cm by using .cm, or example.co by using .co. A person leaving out either the letter o or the letter m in .com in error could arrive at the fake URL's website.
Once in the typosquatter's site, the user may also be tricked into thinking that they are in fact in the real site; through the use of copied or similar logos, website layouts or content.