Reveal the True Identity of Links

Bitly and TinyURL are a URL shortening service sites. There are a lot of sites that offer the same service. It takes a long link and it turns it into a relatively short link. The shorter link is easier to handle and remember, but it can also hide the identity of the site that the link directed to. If you are uncertain of the reliability of a shorten link, you can take steps to check the link’s safety.

Let’s start with TinyURL, it shortens a web address, it turns a link into a short form that looks nothing like the original link. A short link may in fact lead to a harmful website or one loaded with spyware, viruses or inappropriate content. Even if you trust the person sending you the link, it’s safer to check it first before clicking on it.

Let’s say we want to send this link to a friend and wants to make it shorter https://www.hack-tips.com , on tinyurl.com will look like this https://tinyurl.com/y6b7o8g8

Of course, you can any other site beside tinyurl.com, there are many sites offering the same service.

Now if you want to reveal the true form of the link you received you can go to checkshorturl.com and put your link and test it, and in here I have two shortened links, one of them is a normal website and the other is a malicious one:

I’ll copy the 2nd link and open the site checkshorturl.com and paste it and see what it looks like:

Looks like a normal site (hack-tips.com), as the website checkshorturl.com provide a screen shot of the original link before opening the link, also it gave us more information like the title and description of the web site:

Now I’m going to copy the other link and paste it and see how it turns out:

Now checkshorturl.com couldn’t grab a screen shot of the web site because there are none, it’s not a real site it’s just an NGrok link and it could lead to find your IP address or fake web site, and if we take a look at the information below, we can see there is no title or description of the link and we can see the original link it’s NGrok:

The original session for NGrok:

And if you clicked on that link you will see that it recorded your IP address and logged some information about the device you using and more:

We keep visiting reshared links like this on daily basis, links on social media such as WhatsApp, Viber and Telegram or any other chat apps we use these days, not all the links are true, some of them redirect you to other services or shady sites online, so pay attention and don’t open any link with the form of shortened links, verify first.

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