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Warning: Don’t accidentally misspell Sniffies next time you cruise

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If you don’t want to fall victim to a “typosquatting attack” the next time you want to go digital cruising, make sure you either have Sniffies bookmarked, or that you type it correctly in your web browser. 

Sniffies, a web-based hookup app for bisexual, gay, and bicurious men, is being impersonated by websites hoping to target its users with “typosquatting” domains that can push scams or encourage people to download questionable Google Chrome extensions. 

“Typosquatting” refers to a type of con in which an online scammer registers domain names that are similar to another popular domain name in the hopes that people will land there accidentally and fall prey to scams. 

Ethical hacker, Kody Kinzie, shared with BleepingComputer over 50 copycat domain names that are just spelling variations of Sniffies. For example, sniiffies.com (with two i’s). Once on the impersonator’s site, visitors may be prompted to download Chrome extensions or launch the “Music” App right from the web browser. The sites can also lead to fake job posting sites or technical support scam sites for a “computer virus.”

Sniffies is in a vulnerable position for typosquatting attacks because it’s not in any app store. Again, Sniffies is a web-based app, which means it’s not available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This is because Sniffies claims to be “a sex-positive platform that promotes uncensored sexual expression, allowing nudity and sexually explicit speech,” which are things that app stores have rules against. Sniffies adds, “By focusing our efforts on creating a Progressive Web App, we’re able to bring Sniffies to anybody, anywhere, at any time. And in the end, that means a richer, more diverse ecosystem of Cruisers at the ready.”

That said, Sniffies isn’t the only place that’s at risk of typosquatting attacks. Whether you’re a Sniffies user or not, there are a few measures you can take to avoid landing on the wrong page:

  • Bookmark your favorite sites. This will allow you to avoid manually typing the URL into your web browser while simultaneously giving you quick and easy access to your best-loved digital destinations.
  • Leave some of the sites you visit every day open in your browser tabs. Again, this will ensure that you’re not typing (or mistyping) the URL address.
  • Never click links or pop-ups in mysterious emails or on unknown websites. This is just a given for any online traveler.

All in all though, don’t let scammers get in the way of your fun! Be safe, take precautions, and stay sexy out there. 

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