“Safe sex” with tiny URLs – know where you’re clicking

A small, easy-to-take precaution will protect you from phishing schemes

A small, easy-to-take precaution will protect you from phishing schemes

Have you heard about the danger of clicking tiny URLs?  Tiny URLs are great when using Twitter, Facebook and other networking sites because of the 140-characters-or-less message limitations.  Tiny URLs are generally about 25 characters long, while many URLs can run 50 to 75 characters in length.

THE DANGER – without employing an easy-to-access feature of tinyurl.com, tiny URLs can’t be verified.  If you don’t know who’s including the tiny URL in their Tweet or e-mail message, you could be clicking on a phishing site and end up like my husband, wading through 400 messages every day just to find his “real” messages.

EASY FIX – EASY AS 1, 2, 3
1.  Go to http://tinyurl.com
2.  Enable the Preview Option Feature
3.  After you’ve enabled this feature, every time you click on a tiny URL, you will receive an automatic preview of the web site you’ll go to if you click the “Proceed to this site” prompt.

It’s just a small extra layer that takes just a moment, a moment well spent if you’ve received the invitation from someone you don’t know – a potential phishing fiend.

Thanks to Michael Kassner for his post on URL shortening – you may read more about this and other IT security issues at this site.  I’ll forego the tinyURL and list the full link for you:
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/security/?p

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2 Comments

Filed under Computer Safety

2 responses to ““Safe sex” with tiny URLs – know where you’re clicking

  1. Thanks for the tip. I usually hear about these things after the damage is done.

  2. Pat

    Thanks for this information! I just found your web site through your link on Twitter. I never realized a tiny url link could lead to a malicious web site. I’ll be enabling the preview option from now on.

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