We have all been thoroughly warned about how a single click can become disastrous to your computer by letting in a virus or running a script on your computer unknowingly, or possible bombarding you with spam. With social media and mobile devices, it has become common practice to use a short URL link. Which is just an abbreviated version of the original link. But without the original URL, it’s kind of hard to know where that link will actually take you.
There are several URL shortening services out there, with bit.ly and tinyurl being a couple of the most popular. If you spend any time on the Internet or social media, I’m sure you have seen them.
What is a Short URL Link and Why Do People Use Them?
One reason for using a short URL link is to make the link aesthetically pleasing and easy to read. A lot of times the page or post that someone wants to link to ends up being an extremely long URL and it can have weird characters in it. Another reason is that social media sites typically have a limit on the number of characters that can be used in a single post/tweet.
Simple Methods You Can Use
Some web browsers like Firefox will actually display the full link URL in the lower left hand corner of the browser if you hover on the link itself.
You can right click on the link and select “Copy Link Location” and then paste it into a notepad and it will usually paste the entire link.
You can use some of these free online services to help you expand that short url link.
All three methods will help you decipher that short url link to help you avoid spam and other troublesome pests. Personally I use www.wheredoesthislinkgo.com. But that’s just a personal preference. There are so many different shortening services out there and they will all look funny to you. They are definitely plentiful wherever you go on the Internet, so you’re bound to run into a few. If you are confident of the source of the link, say from a relative or an established website, then you may not need to check the short url link everytime. But if you are unsure of where it might go, you can not go wrong by double checking to make sure!
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