(Modern Survival.org) – The internet has connected the world in ways previously unimaginable. Nearly limitless amounts of information are available with the click of a button. Unfortunately, as humankind continues its journey into the information age, there are still those who look to take advantage of the unwary.
The sad fact is that there are criminals who make their living by stealing from innocent people, and the internet has given them new opportunities to do so.
Something as simple as misspelling a website address can put a person’s private information in jeopardy. URL hijacking, also known as typosquatting, is one of the ways cybercriminals look to steal information. The hacker will create a fake webpage based on a popular site, such as Costco.com, but change the address just enough so that an unsuspecting person would be hard pressed to notice the typo (like costoco.com, for example).
By creating fake websites that appear identical to their real counterparts, hackers attempt to trick people into revealing vital information such as credit card numbers or passwords. Additionally, these websites can download malicious software onto the user’s computer, adding additional security risks.
How to Defend Against Typosquatting
There are a few actions one can take to prevent being deceived by typosquatting:
- Double-check website URLs for misspellings before proceeding to them.
- Install a reputable antivirus program. Many of these will automatically block sites that have been reported for typosquatting.
- Don’t visit websites that aren’t clearly identified in ads or link previews.
Criminals will look to take advantage of any unsuspecting prey they can, both online and in the real world. The best defense against them is knowledge and preparation.
For information on how to protect your information from cybercriminals when at the gas pumps, check out our article on ways to avoid credit card skimmers.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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