Cybersquatting has been a threat to businesses from the inception of the internet.
The term refers to individuals who buy domain names associated with big brands and sit on them for future profit or gain.
Legislation has since been passed to protect brands against cyber squatting and many companies have successfully managed to claim their URLs back. However, this phenomena has reincarnated itself in the form of Social Media Cyber Squatting which is more tricky to combat.
If you’ve ever tried to register a YouTube, Facebook or more recently, a Twitter profile, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s nearly impossible these days to register with your brand name as someone else has most likely taken it!
Many brands have been adversely affected by social media Cybersquatting including Exxon who recently discovered that a random person has registered a Twitter account in their name and falsely impersonated them. Other brands have suffered similar fates.
The solution… make it a priority to register your brand in all major social media sites and use tools such as checkusernames.com to make the process less painful.
More importantly, invest in an online reputation management service (ORM) to be one step ahead of these pesky cybersquatters as well as others trying to harm your brand.