Many cybersquatters simply register web domains in order to sell them to established businesses or brand owners at a later stage — this practice is often referred to as domain parking.
However, some cybersquatters have more malicious intentions. By registering a website address that looks as though it belongs to a well-known business or organisation, cybercriminals may be able to lure unsuspecting visitors onto the site. Often, these websites will contain malware.
Internet Security tips — for avoiding cybersquatters’ websites
Here are some useful tips — from Kaspersky Lab’s team of Internet security experts — to help ensure you don’t fall prey to cybersquatting cybercriminals:
- Type the URL — and make sure it’s totally accurate
When you wish to visit a specific website, it’s safer to type the URL into the address bar on your web browser — instead of clicking on a link. Having typed the URL, you should carefully check that it is correct — before you click the enter key on your keyboard. Any spelling errors could result in you being directed to a cybersquatter’s website — and that site may contain malicious software.
- Don’t open suspicious emails — or click links within them
If you receive any suspicious looking emails — especially emails that claim to be from or associated with social media sites — it might be wise to avoid opening them and resist the temptation to click on any links within them. Instead, you should visit the site that the message claims to be from — so you can directly access any notifications or messages contained on the site.
- Eliminate vulnerabilities in your OS and applications
Ensure that your operating system (OS) and all applications running on your computer — including browsers and plugins — are regularly updated. This will help to eliminate vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malware if you visit a cybersquatter’s website.
- Install Internet security software — and keep it updated
An effective antivirus solution — that includes a firewall — can help to protect your computer, by blocking malicious subdomains. Some security software will also warn you about risks if it believes that you are about to enter a potentially malicious domain. To help maximise your protection, make sure your security software is regularly updated.