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October 17, 2022

Website typo protection defends against fraud including phishing, malware, and other scams

It’s easy to make typos when writing out a website name (URL), but these simple mistakes can lead you to potentially fraudulent websites planted by malicious actors. Website typo protection helps protect you when you accidentally navigate to a fraudulent site after misspelling a well-known site’s URL by guiding you to land on the legitimate site instead.

This year, we increased our phishing and fraud protections by partnering with the Microsoft Bing Indexing team on website typo protection. This partnership enables us to constantly scour the web for new “typosquatters” (the bad actors who target these small errors) and dynamically update Microsoft Edge, thus protecting you against newly identified “typosquatting” sites as soon as they are discovered.

Website typo protection complements the Microsoft Defender SmartScreen service to defend against web threats. Microsoft Defender SmartScreen helps protect users against websites that engage in phishing and malware campaigns. Typosquatters engage in phishing activities too, but there are only so many ways in which one can mistype a brand. Malicious actors know this and choose to host less aggravating content on “typosquat” URLs to avoid detection. Typosquatting site owners profit on users’ mistakes by taking them to advertising sites, affiliate links, false products, fake search engine results, or in some cases by redirecting users into parked domains reserved for very short-lived phishing campaigns.

A Microsoft Edge browser window navigating to "," incorrectly spelled with one "f." The page content is an interstitial warning page with the header text "You might have misspelled" and buttons to "Go to" or "Dismiss."
Website typo protection warns users about popular misspellings that could result in loss of personal and financial information.

When encountering a typosquatting site that we have identified, you’ll be greeted with an interstitial warning page suggesting you might have misspelled the site you’re navigating to and asking you to verify the site address before proceeding. Enterprise customers can configure website typo protection through the TyposquattingCheckerEnabled policy.

We would love to hear more about your experience with Microsoft Edge. Please continue to join us on the Microsoft Edge Insider forums or Twitter to discuss your experience and let us know what you think! We hope you enjoy the changes and look forward to your feedback.

– Paloma Lever, Software Engineer, Microsoft Edge Fundamentals
– Georgina Buenrostro, Software Engineer, Microsoft Edge Fundamentals
– Karl Tang, Software Engineer, Microsoft Edge Fundamentals
– Matthew Porter, Software Engineer, Microsoft Edge Fundamentals
– Andres Pico, Product Manager, Microsoft Edge Fundamentals