Monday, July 13, 2009

Shorten URLS - Beware, Be Safe

When you take a URL like this: and use a service like Twitter or HelloTxt, it gets shorten to something like this: This is the only way to communicate a link if you want to include more than just the link in a short message.

The shortening of the URL has concerned me more and more as I see it spread across all social networks -- Twitter, Facebook, MySpace. Can you trust the links that your friend sends?

Alas, no. I recently got one, a link from a trusted friend on my MySpace account. I read the message, and it was a weird one. Good old search engine was able to find me an app that will expand the shortened link. It was still mumbo jumbo. DO NOT trust mumbo jumbo links. So, I texted ;) her to go look to see if she did that. Guess what? Her account got hacked and that person is spreading poison to her friends.

Folks, don't trust shorten urls, even from friends. I'm using Firefox and have added a plug-in that will expand shorten urls. I put my cursor on top of the link. It pops up a bubble that shows the real link. Now you can see where it may take you. COOL!!!

The plugin or add-on I installed for Firefox is LongURL Mobile Expander. You can also use their website

Extracted from Blog of Cool Links, they offer another one that can be used. Untiny. Want more information about Untiny, check out Untiny: Extract the Original URL Behind The Short URL.

Please be safe than sorry.

Oh, read the article link that I used in the first paragraph. It talks about the same thing I am. You may need to close an ad if it appears.


  1. Yes, great advice. And I need to be in bed. Just got to Mississippi and have to be up in a couple hours. (just checking out the blog)