The devil often is in the details: A small carelessness when typing the domain name, a wrong letter in the address bar and the user takes a wrong turn. The original landing page will loose a visitor – and a potential customer – while the user might end up on a phishing page or a site containing malware in the worst case.
The best method to protect customers from this scenario is by registering the most common variations of typos additionally to the desired domain name. An example could be registering the domain www.interntex.com additionally to the domain www.internetx.com.
Considering domain variants
It is worthwhile to pay special attention to adjacent letters on the keyboard - for example, "w" and "r" adjacent to the "e". Regardless of this, different domain extensions should also be considered. If the main address ends in .com, matching ccTLDs (e.g. .de for Germany) and other gTLDs such as .net, .info or .org could be potentially useful supplements. In case the British domain extension is being used, it could also be a good idea to extend the address by the abbreviation "co". Just recently, the competent registry for the ccTLD has cleared .uk for registration. Until then it was common in the UK to create internet addresses under .co.uk. The new registration rules led resourceful users to register addresses according to the pattern www.domainnameCO.uk.
A 301 redirect should be implemented for the additionally registered domains, redirecting users to the actual landing page. A redirector should be part of every professional domain management software and is used to redirect (sub)domains and email addresses to existing (sub)domains and email addresses.
The Claims Service in the Trademark Clearinghouse acts as a monitoring tool for the new domain extensions. The system notifies the owner a trademark if an interested party registers a domain that matches the name of his brand.
Additional protection with SSL
Apart from defensive registrations, site operators have other ways to protect their visitors against false addresses or fake offers. SSL certificates cannot only be used to protect data transmissions, such as for financial transactions. The certificates also give users information on a page. By clicking on the padlock icon in the browser bar, the user receives information about the site owner and the company that issued the certificate. With high-quality EV certificates, the entire browser bar additionally turns green.
Site operators can pass on these benefits to their visitors by actively promoting the benefits of SSL certificates. Webmasters can gain additional benefits from SSL certificates for search engine optimization: Last year, Google announced that it would consider SSL as a ranking factor in the evaluation of its results lists.