Are you tempted to click on a shortened link in your Twitter feed or a discussion forum, but you are unsure of the trustworthiness of the person who posted it? Usually when that happens, I simply move on. I’ve got more important things to do anyway, so I might as well avoid landing on a rogue website, risking possible malware infection. But if you just can’t get past that temptation, there are great resources out there to help you out. Both
URL Uncover (this service no longer exists as) and Unshorten.It! will allow you to reveal the website lurking behind that shortened URL.
This one works much the same. Copy and paste the short link and click the Unshorten.It! button. You will then see the full destination URL, description, a screen capture of the website, and “Safety Ratings” provided by Web Of Trust, including trustworthiness, vendor reliability, privacy, and child safety. On their “Explaining Unshorten.It!” page, they say, “Unshorten.It! takes any bullets for you, analysing the website for safety and letting you see it before you decide whether to proceed.” They do not list how many short link services they work with.
Important Note: Mcafee SiteAdvistor rates Unshorten.It! as “safe.”
With the average person displaying an internet attention span measured in microseconds, the value of these services might be limited. But if you just cannot resist clicking on that potentially suspect short link URL, these services could save you from yourself!