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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Comments

by jonsulli2k (not verified) on 19. November 2012 - 18:57  (102576)

Am I missing something here? In Firefox, when you hover the cursor over a url (long or short) the add-on bar displays the url address. Use Ctrl-/ to toggle it on and off or use View, Toolbars, and click Add-on Bar.

by Anupam on 20. November 2012 - 5:20  (102599)

That's different. Here, shortened URLs are being talked about, like the ones from goo.gl, or tinyurl, etc. These hide the actual URL with a shortened URL, and they hide the actual URL, and you don't know where it will lead u when you click it. Therefore, this article to show what link you are going to open.

by skross on 17. November 2012 - 1:45  (102450)

This is useful function, however as for me, i dont do this enough to give it permanent memory as an extension. I will just go to my bookmarked fave site that unshortens them, when needed and save the memory.

by Oxa on 16. November 2012 - 14:49  (102407)

If you just want to know where a shortened URL leads, without having to click, and without all the other gewgaws, the Firefox extension Long URL Please works great.

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