In getting to Web sites, neatness counts. If you type in the wrong Web address, you might be in for a surprise.

You could be taken to a site run by a business that competes with the site you were trying to get to, to a rogue site that lampoons the intended site, to a porn site that tricks you or your children into its seediness, or to a spam or phishing site that steals your e-mail address, your money or your identity.

This phenomenon goes by the names “typosquatting” and “URL hijacking.” A new study by McAfee, a maker of computer security software, sheds some interesting light on it.

Among the more celebrated examples of typosquatting have involved the Web search site Google and the user-written Web encyclopedia Wikipedia. By mistyping www.google.com as www.goggle.com, users were taken to the site of a rogue software maker that automatically downloaded spyware to their computers.

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