2016 presidential hopeful Jeb Bush fell victim to cybersquatting earlier in the year when his campaign failed to secure the domain name www.JebBush.com. Now visitors who attempt to visit the link are redirected to rival Donald Trump’s official presidential campaign page and given the opportunity to donate to support Mr. Trump’s campaign.
The official site of the Jeb Bush campaign is www.jeb2016.com. Interestingly, a typosquatter has obtained the domain www.jeb16.com. When one visits this site, a variation of the "Jeb! 2016" campaign logo appears:
Beneath the logo, the domain name owner proudly advertises that "Jeb16.com is FOR SALE!" and then touts the potential profitabiliity of owning this domain with the tempting slogan, "You just clicked here. Imagine how many others will click here, too."
Mr. Bush’s Internet misfortunes should serve as a cautionary tale on renewing domain name registrations, as well as being proactive about securing other possible iterations of your company’s name on the web. In addition, all companies would be well advised to ensure that the “billing contact” for domain name registration is attached to a job title rather than an individual at the company. Then, if an employee responsible for domain name registration leaves the company, the domain name renewal contract will still find its way to the correct person.
Protecting your brand requires constant diligence, as Mr. Bush is learning the hard way.
Image by Ad Meskens, licensed under Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. Image has not been modified.