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How to stop hackers from impersonating your business
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Tech tips

Hackers use this trick to impersonate you or your business – Here’s how to stop it

Have a side hustle or small business? Then you know how much heavy lifting goes into it.

No matter how good your product or service is, it won’t matter if nobody knows about it. You want to get the word out there and make your business stand out. Getting started can be as simple as having a great logo. Tap or click here for tips on creating the perfect logo for your business.

Your hard work can be wasted if people can’t find you. Even a catchy and memorable domain name can fall through the cracks when others like it exist. Whether it’s a slight change of spelling or multiple domain names with different extensions, you’ll want to get a handle on them.

The question of domain

Earlier this month, a caller on The Kim Komando Show (Larry from Iowa) asked the following: “How important is it to secure as many domain permutations and suffixes as possible for our company website? Our domain ownership is currently up for renewal. We had previously purchased 10 variations based around spelling changes and common suffixes like com, org, net, info and us. However, it is easy to identify 67 other potentials not including nasty suffixes like .xxx. We have a nice site and have invested substantially into it. We want to protect it. What say you?

Buying multiple domains for your business is a good idea. It can improve your online identity and protect your brand from competitors. A competitor with a similar name may create confusion without even trying. Then some poachers seek to grow their brand on the back of your hard work by using similar names to yours.

This also helps protect against user error. Mistakes can happen when someone types in your domain name manually or doesn’t hear it correctly. Look for common misspellings of your company’s name, especially if you take some artistic license in the spelling yourself.

One common practice of cybercriminals is to slightly alter the spelling of a popular domain and use it to trick victims into handing over private and financial information. Victims may think you’re responsible and contact you or threaten legal action when fraud is discovered. This will only hurt your reputation.

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You don’t need to buy every similar domain you can find. It all depends on your budget and scope. You don’t need to break the bank on domains if you have a modest business and steady or incremental growth. You can go to Google Domains to search for names that go with your existing domain.

You can redirect multiple domains to one main site if that’s where you want most of your traffic to go.

Extend yourself

Owning multiple domain extensions will also prevent the issues we mentioned above. Beyond that, you can target people in different locations using extensions such as .us, .ca, or .co.uk.

Start with the most common ones, such as .com, .net, .org and .co., and take it from there.

Avoid the squatters

Parties can register a trademark without planning to use it in hopes that they can get some money out of it. They expect that a business that needs the trademark will pay them for it.

This is why you should trademark your company’s name as soon as possible. Keep the details of your business and its name close to the chest until you can trademark it.

You can go to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s page on the trademark process to get started. You’ll need to log in to a USPTO.gov account with two-step authentication to use the Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS). Go here to set up your USPTO.gov account

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