The popularity of services like Twitter has hugely increased the use of URL shortening services like TinyURL, Bit.ly etc. They are fun to hang around and the popularity has gone beyond imagination.
An important feature of Twitter is that you can share your favorite links and webpages with your followers. These links automatically get shortened and they appear something like http://tinyurl/73o84j ot . It is done to save space.
URL shortening has lots of other advantages also and are used by many other applications and individuals to give there links a cleaner look.
Dangers of URL Shortening
But URL Shortening has its own disadvantages. The person clicking on these links does not know, where this click will lead him to, and this very fact is like a goldmine to the malware writers and promoters.
They can simply dishuise any bad URL with URL shortening services and lure the victim to click on them. There are lot of black hat techniques like drive-by-downloads, which can be used to infect the victim’s PC, once he had clicked on a rogue links.
Sounds Threatening. Yes it is.
Prevent Malware Infections and Phishing by de-crypting URL Shortening
If there has a utility, which can quickly de-crypt the shortened URL and let you know the true destination of the link, then it will be of immense help to know beforehand, before a click will lead you to.
Long URL Please, as the name implies, does exactly that.
It decrypts the shortened URL and gives you the original long URL. In order not to break the formatting of the page you are visiting, it just shows you the initial few characters to you, which are just sufficient for you to know the exact domain name of the URL. This will tell you whether a visit to that domain is safe or not.
If you hover your mouse on top of the link, Long URL Please will tell you the exact and full URL in the status bar of your browser.
A really cool application, which can do a lot to prevent you from malware infections and also from phishing attempts.
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Firefox Security Addons Series
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- Firefox Private Browsing - Close 'n' Forget
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- Phishing Detection and Prevention with FormFox [Firefox Security Addon]