Shortened URLs: The good the bad, and the ugly

By now, everyone knows that a URL is basically an internet address.  There are many different examples of URLs like:

  • http://helpmeclayton.com
  • ftp://mozilla.org
  • mailto://help@claytonrandall.com
  • https://aol.com

each one shows you where your destination you will get to when you click on them.  When Twitter came along and had a 140 character limit, people turned to URL shortening to be able to send links of pages where the URL was too long.  People also got tired of typing in extremely long URLs and started using the shorteners to send to friends.  Then the scammers took notice that people would click on URLs that made no sense, so they started using them to send out URLs for sites people would never click on if they were revealed.

SO WHAT SHOULD I DO?

There are services now that you can copy a shortened URL into it, and it will tell you where it is going.  like

You should use one of these sites to verify if you feel a shortened URL might sound fishy.

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