Friday, July 31, 2015

Avoiding potentially dangerous short URL's

I've found myself increasingly targeted by Internet spammers and a few blog commenters who provide Internet links to sites they recommend, but in a shortened URL that's unreadable and gives no hint as to where it's actually redirecting me.  Needless to say, I treat all such links as highly suspicious.

I've been pleased to discover that there are Web sites to help find out where those links are really going, before I click on them.  This article discusses several 'link expanders'.  I've tried some of those it recommends, and find they work well.

So, if you find yourself confronted with a link such as (which takes you to the Drudge Report web site - I just set it up as an example), and you want to know what it is before you actually go there, use one of the services listed and check it out.  It might just save you from a lot of viruses, malware and scam artists.



Arrgh said...

The adblocker and NoScript add ons help with that.

Jim said...

I checked out the site and it worked as advertised. I think I may get some use out of it.

Joe Allen said...

URL shortening services wouldn't have a legitimate market if content management systems didn't generate ridiculously convoluted urls.

Didn't even have to look far for an example:

One forum I'm on is running on older software and is regularly broken by some of these urls that are longer than a tweet.

Stackz O Magz said...

I get all kinds of bitly.blahblah linkage in my blogger stats. Ain't no way in hell I'm clicking that crap.

Bob M. said...

If someone sends you a TinyURL, add "preview." to the front end of the link, so that you end up with as an example.

You can also turn that on for keeps by letting TinyURL set a cookie.