The risks and benefits of shortened URLs

URL shortening has many benefits; it reduces the size and complexity of Web Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). Short URLs are used in services like Twitter and others that are bound with a specific number of characters. However, the most obvious benefit is that they are short and easy to remember, and typing them in browsers’ address bars is faster. The process of shortening URLs uses a redirect service that provides a shorter version for a long original URL.

On the other hand, Cyber criminals leverage short URLs to disguise malicious websites and prevent detection by security tools. Users are duped because shortened URL links do not show any information about the destination. Organizations need to make their employees aware of such shortened and abbreviated URLs and train them to use preview options whenever these are available. For instance, you can preview TinyURL links by typing preview in front of the shortened URL. You can enable the preview option in your browser for links by going here.

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