LongURL unmasks the destination of Short URL links

Although Short URL services are extremely handy when used in combination with a service like Twitter which has a 140 character limit, the scammers out there are making use of Short URL's as well to lure unsuspecting surfers onto phishing and malware sites; such an example can be seen here and is unfortunately all too commonplace.

Enter LongURL, which is a service that scans Short URL's before you visit the destination site.


As shown above, the Short URL is scanned and displayed in full.

The service supports the major shortening services like bit.ly and tinyurl, as well as a few hundred more of the obscure ones. It also has support for Firefox as an extension, or GreaseMonkey script. With this installed or bookmarked, it's an extra layer of protection against finding yourself on a site you don't want to be on.

As the site itself points out: "So, then, I could send you this link http://is.gd/2kz and tell you to check out the photos from my recent trip, when in fact I'm sending you to a video of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up". This is bad for users." Note: the link directs to a no longer available Rickroll!

So in short (hah!), don't get Rickrolled get LongURL.

Source: The Red Ferret

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13 Comments

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pratnala said,
Firefox extension has not been updated. Won't work on Firefox 23

I'm currently using the addon with Firefox 24 at the moment -- edited the version numbers in the install.rdf file (bumped it up to support up to version 99), there's also a manual fix for the error that tends to show up with localhost addreses that you may want to add. Just open the XPI file with WinRAR or whatever.

That said, there's various other addons that do the same thing for Firefox, also there's other similar services as well.

I remember having that problem with extensions everytime Firefox went to a new version, haven't seen it in Chrome, ever, though..

Neobond said,
I remember having that problem with extensions everytime Firefox went to a new version, haven't seen it in Chrome, ever, though..

True that, don't recall ever getting that in Chromium either. Depends on your needs I guess, for me the far superior addons (in my opinion) is easily worth the 5 second fix to get the old addons working. You can just disable compatibility checking too. If Chrome ever allows their addons more flexibility I'd quite probably switch, but until then..

Although Short URL services are extremely handy when used in combination with a service like Twitter which has a 140 character limit, the scammers out there are making use of Short URL's as well to lure unsuspecting surfers onto phishing and malware sites; such an example can be seen here, and is unfortunately all too commonplace.

correction: Twitter 's character limit doesn't effect links. you can use URLs of unlimited length, and yet it will only take up 20 characters maximum per URL of your twitter post.