If you follow famous social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ you might see small Shorten URLs which are redirected to the other pages. Instead of using full and ugly large URLs, they make it short and friendly.
There are many URL shortening services like bit.ly, ow.ly, goo.gl, is. gd etc. These services help us to track the geographic location and no of clicks on a specific URL. This information is used to calculate the customer interests and the place where the clicks are coming from.
How Shorten URL Are Used On The Internet.
The internet is a place where you find links everywhere. Sometimes there could be a shortened URL link and you do not know where it leads to. The page you are going to land through that link may contain a virus or malware.
If you consider bloggers, they shorten the long affiliate URL and redirect it to their affiliate sales page. Hackers use shortened URLs to spread malware, virus and to hide phishing links.
To avoid this type of situation you have to know where the particular shorten URL leads without clicking on it.
Tools To Find Original Long URL Behind A Shorten URL
Let me take an example of shortened URL from my blog.
http://goo.gl/FkcbVL ======> http://www.orclage.com
If you are using the Google Chrome browser here is an add-on that shows the hidden URL when you hover on it.
LinkPeelr For Google Chrome
I personally use linkpeelr extension.
Here are the other similar add-ons you can try on your Browser.
Expand – Chrome Extension
View Thru – Chrome Extension
By hovering over the shortened URL you can estimate where the shortened URL leads to and know whether it is a spammy link, an affiliate link, or a normal link.
If you are using Firefox Browser here are the add-ons
LongURL for Firefox
Long URL Please
Online Services To Expand Shortened URL
Unfurl is a project of MailChimp to protect against Shortened URL attacks. Unfurl scan and gathers the technical details of the shortened URL without loading the content on your browser.
Here are the two other websites that offer similar services.
Hope you all like this article, if you know of any other services that I forgot let us know through comments.