Why I hate tiny-fied URLs…

In theory if the world were filled we universally good people, “bitly” and “TinyURL.com“, which given long URLs provide short ones, are a great idea. However whenever I get one I find that I’m frankly terrified to click on them.

Why?

Because while they could be going someplace useful, they could also be going to a giant virus laden web site, or a nasty bug exercising Flash app, or even a porn site that’s going to get me in dutch at the job.

I mean here’s one:

http://bit.ly/pSd3GJ

How do you know where it goes? It happens to go to my resume, but it could go to a virus, a trojan, something completely inappropriate (or even illegal).

Again, it’s a wonderful idea, and certainly more power to those who can stomach them, but I can’t. Heck I even get them sent to me by security professionals.

Granted, even when they are URLs that clearly go to well known sites you are always at risk, but the extra obfuscation (as nice as it is) really increases your risk. No offense to the owners of “bitly” or “tinyURL.com”, they certainly are providing a public service, but it’s one that is too nerve-wracking for this security professional.

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