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Take Care When Typing a Web Address

When typing in the address of a website, it's important to get it right. As with the warning about fake drugs, the consequences of incorrect web addresses being typed in are more far-reaching than might at first have been guessed.

|www.mmm what should I put?_

I've seen it happen, someone either making a total guess at what the correct address is, or sloppily typing it in. Now look, if it were a phone, you'd not do that! If you did, you'd end up getting the wrong number, disturbing someone, having to apologise, etc.

With a web address, even though it's as unique as a phone number and has to be got right, the consequences of getting it wrong are less obvious yet more devastatingly nasty in the long run.

The first level of trouble is that you will get the wrong website, and that could be anything...

* It could be just the wrong site.

* It could be virus/spyware sites, whose malware infectious stuff may be able to invade your computer. See How to get rid of spyware

* It could be sites with auto popup generators who are a nuisance and leave you wondering if they have really been ended after you have closed all the annoying pop-ups. (see how to get rid of them)

* It could be cybersquatters, whose intentions are to blackmail the honest site into paying a ransom. Every time someone types in ".com" for example, when the real site is not ".com", the evil is strengthened and the blackmailers get a tighter hold on the victim. This happens because some search engines sometimes spy on usage and popular mistakes are counted as giving extra credibility versus the real site.

* It could be fake sites pretending to be the real site. This could have dire consequences if you type in your personal details, as it could be identity theft

But let's not get depressed about it! Just make sure you get the address right when you type it in. If you're not sure what it is, do a search and find out. When I say "do a search", I don't mean putting the guessed web address in a search bar; I mean doing a search with a description of what you are looking for. (see how to find stuff). For example, Channel 5 TV in the UK, if you didn't know it was www.five.tv you could do a search on a search engine for "channel 5 television channel in the uk". Another example, if you didn't know that Belize Telecom is www.btl.net , don't just guess, but do a search for "Belize Telecom".

It's a known fact that a lot of addresses which have the notorious ".com" on the end, are not the real thing and are cybersquatters, which you should avoid! Also, typo mistakes of famous named sites tend to get a lot of hits because of people sloppily typing the address in. Some of these are evil cybersquatters, some of them pornographic, and yet some are relatively harmless sites who have just happened to be lucky. There is a website about the British town of Goole who are doing rather better in terms of visitors than the actual tourist attraction of the town of Goole would suggest?! This might just have something to do with the similarity between the names "Google" and "Goole"?! An easy mistake to make, and relatively harmless in this case, but you can't count on being so lucky every time.

If you get it wrong, with some situations, you can inadvertently end up supporting the evil of cybersquatting or you can get your computer infected with spyware. So...

1. Make sure you're spelling the name right.

2. Avoid assuming sites are ".com" as quite a lot of them are not! Turn off "auto-search from address bar" as this often makes such crass mistakes, even on systems which should know better!

3. If unsure, use descriptive searches to cross-reference info sources to find the true answers. See how to find stuff

You are reading this at www.zyra.tv - That's Zyra spelt with a Z and a Y etc, and it's a DOT TV site. Similarly, Zyra's UK site is Zyra.org.uk which is not the same as Zara.org.uk or Zyra.org or Zyra.co.uk , although Zyra has succeeded in acquiring these to help to reinforce the truth and to defeat the disinformation.

Fake sites tend to be somewhat bland, and a lot of them have the same tagline. Some are created just to be a nuisance, and some are to blackmail money out of the honest person whom they are trying to distract from. A while ago I noticed a bogus site which was set up within Yahoo, containing material stolen from this site! Now although Yahoo have cleaned their act up since then, there was a time when things got so bad that I was saying "let's boycott Yahoo" (as they were failing to deal with issues of plagiarism (stealing web material)). I know Google isn't perfect, but at least they don't allow people's original material to be stolen and published on naff blogs,  and at least they actually try to deal with complaints properly * rather than sending silly yahoo fobbing-off letters. Note: The Yahoo matter has been dealt with properly since then, so at last Yahoo has been forgiven!

* Google used to deal with complaint properly. That's now in the past, and as of 2012 they do not deal with complaints properly, and that's a problem. It's part of the Google Problem

All of Zyra's real sites link to the primary site which is the Zyra.org.uk, and most of them have weird pictures of Zyra on the front page.

If you want to see what a cybersquatter site looks like without committing the sin of typing in the web address of a cybersquatted site, you can type into an address bar www.pork.com . Although not a cybersquatter in definition terms (as no-one is a celebrity whose name is Pork!), the site shows typical features of cybersquatted sites, so if you see something that looks like that, beware!

Also see Down With Cybersquatters , How to defeat cybersquatters or bring about their downfall , Campaign against cybersquatting , and the Proposed Solution for putting cybersquatters out of business (ICANN and Internic are to blame?). Also, Scam about the .EU domain and cybersquatters