Find Out Where a Shortened URL Really Goes with this Handy Firefox and Chrome Extension

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.

To install the extension for Chrome browsers go to this Google Webstore link. To install in Firefox, go to this Mozilla link.

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.

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