Your favorite URL shorten service or don't you use them?



  • [ul] [li]Which service do you use and why or why not?[/li] [li]What do you think about security and privacy using these services?[/li] [li]What are the pros and cons for these services?[/li] [/ul]Using a URL short service is often use in social media. But there is no garantee these short links are working for example in 10 years. I dont really trust in short links and only use them if i'm tweeting (which is done not very often). In blogs or forums i like to create links with BBCode, Markdown or even HTML and make links descriptive with words or parts of sentences. better than thes bitt.ly/foo72xcHT links. And a descriptive link is fine for our disabled or blind web users.





  • Never if the space is not constricted like in e.g. Twitter where you can hardly write a decent sentence. I want to know where I am going to and I want others to know where I am sending them to. In the end a shortened URL can contain even code (possibly even malicious code), as you can see on the tiny URL I used for my X-Face for some newsreaders that can't display them:
    http://tinyurl.com/l68b

    It was simply shorter than this:

    http://www.dairiki.org/xface/xface.php?xface=%25M8YiEw%5Cb%23QMc7Q%3B%7E%3F%5Cf%2FT%7DH5%7B%3E%3Ci%25%5D%3Dc20KvYiMo%2B%28O%27%21A%26x%21%23g0E%3Dg%7EEWm%29bJ%28bUo4%5E%26x3rv%5E%25%7D_AZ%27_%3D7%28Bx%26Y97W%60Pf%7EE%3DlRUHSA%7EOvqrh5eQb%239%3CzPL%7E%2F%7E_AXP%60%2FPrE%29pytDC_d%25RTK5hm%28%25%7BMcmf%2Bg%3FIgoLPy%21V%5D%5C%5DvxJ%22%3ACwkccBJ%23d%7Bw%7Bnux%7D%5CjnXB%22fRNcM%3DW%3F%29h%3Cj&preview=1&enlarge=4
    ```which would break in some clients that couldn't do line breaks, so there was a real need for it - but if there is no need to do so: See above :D


  • I agree with QuHno, shortened URLs can hide or lead to malicious content.

    And the can hide illegal destination URLs. Not Nice – clicking on such short link to bad whatever content, and getting afterwards some visit from police forces and Public Prosecutors.



  • @QuHno:

    I want to know where I am going to and I want others to know where I am sending them to. In the end a shortened URL can contain even code (possibly even malicious code)…

    Agreed, this 'Feature', may be easier to read but provides the user with absolutely no information regarding his/her possible destination.

    When I find one I simply Copy it and Paste it into DuckDuckGo to get the proper (expanded) link. 99% of the time I am OK with it and proceed, but there have been times when I have questioned the link and wondered if that is a place I really want to go to.



  • I do not use short URLs, or trust them for reasons stated by others. I do use LongURL to expand short URLs to see where they go to before I follow the links.



  • I avoid shortened URLs like the plague. Shortening obfuscates; obfuscation creates uncertainty; uncertainty creates security risk. End of story…



  • So - what do you think is the business model of the companies obfuscating URLs?

    And why would I use a service to make URLs I personally would not follow?



  • @bv:

    So - what do you think is the business model of the companies obfuscating URLs?

    You mean apart from knowing which IP went to a page to which they redirect (and may be selling that information?) or donations?

    I don't know.

    @bv:

    And why would I use a service to make URLs I personally would not follow?

    May be you want to post a more than 140 character long URL into a Twitter message and write 3 or 4 words as explanation why you post this link?

    One other use case was the one with the x-face I posted before.



  • There's also the risk that the service goes offline sometime in the future and then all the shortened URLs won't work anymore.



  • And then there is the risk that accounts on the service will be comprimized…

    See this link: http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2014/05/09/bitly-breached-gives-shortened-details-to-customers-on-blog/


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