Shortened URLs

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Robert T
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Shortened URLs

Post by Robert T » Wed 26 Sep, 2012 14:08

I will remove any shortened URLs that I see, as they have recently been abused to link to malware.

A shortened URL is one that is redirected through a service like bit.ly using a short-code. The obvious flaw in this is that you cannot tell where the shortened URL will lead until you click on it.

There is no need to use them when posting links on here, as all links are clickable - no-one has to type the URL in. If you don't want a long URL in the middle of your post, then use the form of the URL tag that allows you to specify a link on a piece of text of your choice.

If you see a shortened URL elsewhere and want to know where it leads, you can safely expand it using a service like http://longurl.org/expand

Cheers R.
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Dave L2
Joined: Tue 25 Jul, 2006 11:34
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by Dave L2 » Wed 26 Sep, 2012 22:38

Robert T wrote:If you see a shortened URL elsewhere and want to know where it leads, you can safely expand it using a service like http://longurl.org/expand

Cheers R.
I didn't realise such a service existed, that's going to be very handy. Thanks Rob, the all purpose administrator :D
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Robert T
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by Robert T » Wed 26 Sep, 2012 22:45

Dave L2 wrote:I didn't realise such a service existed, that's going to be very handy. Thanks Rob, the all purpose administrator :D
We aim to please! :D

I only saw it mentioned a month or so back, and this is the first time I have had cause to use it. Seems to work quite nicely.

Now if only I can get my head round the nightmare of CSS that is phpBB, I might sort this bleedin' image cropping problem out!

Cheers R.
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XVar
Joined: Thu 24 Mar, 2011 17:58
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by XVar » Fri 28 Sep, 2012 13:03

Regarding the CSS, and apologies if you already know this, but if you press F12 in Chrome then click the magnifying glass at the bottom left, you can click on any element within a page and see exactly which CSS rules are affecting it. Absolutely invaluable tool when trying to find that pesky CSS class that's overriding the one you actually want to be used!
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Robert T
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by Robert T » Mon 27 Jan, 2014 19:06

Just a reminder. Short-links using services like bit.ly should be avoided, as you have to physically click the link to see where it leads - whether this be a legitimate site, a malware site or something which you'd rather not click on at work, like youtube.

Links which are applied to a piece of text are perfectly acceptable and to see where these lead, simply hover your mouse over them and your browser will show the destination, usually in the bottom left or bottom right of the window. For example: This Thread links to this page.

Cheers R.
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janijoeli
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by janijoeli » Tue 28 Jan, 2014 00:24

Quite a few big brand companies offer now their own short URLs for linking, typically used for their internal stuff. E.g. http://youtu.be and http://goo.gl. Former is safe (AFAIK). Latter looks innocent as it is a short URL provided by Google, and used by google themselves, but...

http://goo.gl/72K37I

So even the familiar big company short URLs don't always go to where one would think. You might already be aware of this, but thought it is worth a mention.
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Robert T
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by Robert T » Wed 08 Jul, 2015 17:02

Another quick reminder of why shortened URL services are dangerous. Unlike a normal hyperlink, whereby if you hover the mouse over it, the web address you will be taken to is shown at the bottom of the browser window, shortened URL services require that you actually click on the link before you find out where it is going to take you. This may cause you to visit a page you had no intention of visiting, possibly containing inappropriate content, or worse still to some virus laden script-kiddy cess pit which will either take your bank details or encrypt your hard drive. It really is that simple. Don't use them!

If you are worried about the length of a link, then you if you just write it, rather then enclosing it in BBCode URL tags, then the forum will automatically abbreviate showing the first and last parts with ... in the middle.

If you a website only gives you a shortened URL to post as a link, then you can expand it using http://longurl.org/expand

Cheers R.
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motco
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by motco » Wed 08 Jul, 2015 22:29

Thanks for that advice, Robert. I suspect my link of today to Ebay has prompted your reiteration of a policy obviously adopted a while ago, but of which I was unaware. My reason for using Tinyurl was purely to simplify the link, nothing else. In my naive world, using such a convenient process isn't open to abuse. :dunce: I shall try the suggested method next time I encounter a five page URL! Wrists duly slapped! :oops:

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Robert T
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Re: Shortened URLs

Post by Robert T » Wed 08 Jul, 2015 23:15

Not so much a telling off as me bumping this thread to the top so that everyone reads it. :wink:

Cheers R.
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