BERLIN (dpa) – It’s hard to remember all the often random letters and symbols of a standard website address, which is why shortened URLs (uniform resource locators) have become such a common tool for online surfing.
These more compact weblinks – favourites of Twitter feeds and emails – can be created at sites like tinyurl.com or bit.ly or directly with Twitter’s t.co and link directly to the full-length web address.
But the fact these abbreviations fill in for the real site’s address mean they can hide potential dangers.
Internet users should use care before clicking, warns German magazine PC Welt Tipps & Tricks.
For instance, go to the website longurl.org and pop in the name of the shortened URL if you are not using a trusted source have suspicions.
It will show you the ultimate destination behind the abbreviation, once you hit the Expand button, giving you an idea of where the link will take you if you click upon it.