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How can I research online? [Ask Dr. Know]
  What is cyber squatting? How do I protect my Web site from cyber squatters?
   --- Karan Sharma

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T he practice known as 'cyber squatting', Karan, originated at a time when most businesses weren't particularly aware about commercial opportunities on the Internet. The term derives from 'squatting' and refers to the act of reserving a particular Internet domain name for the purpose of selling it at a higher price later.

Common examples of cyber squatting include the reservation of sites that include the names of celebrities or companies. This guarantees the cyber squatters a profit whenever a celebrity or company decides to set up an official Web site and needs that domain name.

How can you be sure a cyber squatter has your name? As a general rule, you should first check whether your proposed-but-unavailable domain name takes you to a legitimate Web site. Internic provides information regarding Internet domain name registration services.

Needless to say, this sort of activity requires businesses and individuals to take appropriate steps in order to protect their Web sites. The first thing to do is identify possible domain names that could be targeted by a squatter. There is always the legal process one can fall back on in order to ensure safety.

To secure your domain names and settle disputes, check out the Domain Name Dispute Resolution site, as well as the Anticybersquatting Act, which has a lot of information about legal violations.

More information on the subject can be found using RediffSearch.


You can read up on cyber laws in India, here. Ways of protecting your domain name are also covered, along with some basic information on the practice of cyber squatting.

Bubbles wants me to hire a lawyer to ensure that BubblesTheParrot.com is never targeted by a cyber squatter. I have assured him that his proposed domain name is safe.


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