URLs (web links) that have been shortened are very common these days. This is very convenient on services like Twitter. But there is always a chance that bad guys have hidden a malicious link this way. As a result, a host of different websites are available where you can paste a shortened URL and reveal its actual destination. (See this link.) Copying and pasting short URLs for testing can be a little tedious, however.
So if you are you worried that some shortened URL might actually lead to a malicious site, you might want to try this quick and easy way to find out where a shortened URL actually goes. It’s a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox called "Unshorten.It!" Once installed, it provides a right-click context menu entry "Unshorten this link" that will reveal the true identity of a suspicious URL. Unshorten.It! also provides safety ratings and information about the destination website as well as the actual URL. It displays a page with the WOT safety rating, shows any blacklist mentions of the URL, and provides a screenshot of the web page that the URL opens.
There is also a website to enter short URLs at http://www.unshorten.it/
And there you have it - a really easy way to check out any suspicious shortened URLs.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.