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Domain watching prevents phishing and other misuse

You’ve invested in a domain name and want to claim a website and web address (URL). Because your domain name is unique, everyone who types your domain name into their browser should arrive at your website. But, what happens if someone enters a variant of your domain name? Suppose somebody inserts a hyphen into your name or types it incorrectly? Similarly, what if a third party has registered a domain name that incorporates your brand name or company name in order to profit from your reputation?

Domain name registries do not perform a detailed analysis of the desired domain name before awarding a registration. The criterion that a domain name must be unique is sufficient ­– effectively, they operate on a first-come first-served basis. That’s why, in practice, it is increasingly common for others to take advantage of your company name or trademark by registering a similar or confusing similar domain name.

Phishing and other misuse

Intentionally misspelled domain names that closely resemble your own domain name are repeatedly used for ‘phishing’. Phishing is unfortunately becoming increasingly common on the web. The best-known examples of phishing scams are variations of the web addresses of banks. A website is then developed that is so similar to the original that it is almost indistinguishable from the real one. The main aim of such sites is to intercept consumers’ personal details, credit card data and user codes. Similarly, domain names that incorporate your brand name are often used to sell counterfeit goods or to benefit from the (internet) success of your products.

Both situations are obviously undesirable. However, you can avoid them by, for example, registering the most often used and/or most frequently occurring incorrect variations of your domain names (typos or misspellings) yourself. Alternatively, you could take action against domain names that include variations of your brand or company name. But, how do you find out whether there are variations of your domain name in use?

Novagraaf’s domain name watching service

Novagraaf’s domain name watching service promptly identifies the registration of an undesirable domain name, often before a website is linked to the domain name. As a result, action can quickly be taken and damage to your company name or brand name prevented. Here, prevention is clearly better than cure.

Domain name typos and misspellings

Depending on the size of your company, a good strategy is to register all kinds of frequently occurring variations of your domain names in advance. In general, common variations are typing errors (or typos):

  • Typing errors (‘Novagrass’ instead of ‘Novagraaf’),
  • Reversal of letters (‘Navograaf’ instead of ‘Novagraaf’),
  • Omission of the same consecutive vowel or consonant (‘Novagraf’ instead of ‘Novagraaf’),
  • Typing letters twice (‘Novagraaff’ instead of ‘Novagraaf’).

Novagraaf has developed a tool that can quickly and easily identify the most common variations of a domain name: Click here to see the possible variations of your domain name.

Would you like to know more about domain name watching?

The internet has made it easier for third parties to ride on your success. Businesses need to be on their guard and to try to anticipate problems. If you would like to know more about phishing, typos/misspellings and the watching of domain names, or have any questions about domain availability or registration, please contact Novagraaf using the contact form at the top right of this page.