Short URLs came about mainly due to social networking. Twitter for example only allows 140 characters per tweet. Â If you end up using 110 of them for a URL, you’re going to find it hard to comment on what you are linking. Â However by fixing one problem, short URLs created another one. Â You don’t really know where the link is going to take you…
I talk quite a bit about online saftey and sense, so it’s always good to see that people are diligent when looking at me too.
I’ve noticed recently that when I tweet a link, some people are using websites like longURL.org before clicking on my short urls. Â It’s is a service which expands the short address so you can see where it is going to take you. Â So popping inÂ irte.eu/2hÂ will show you that the url you will end up looking at is IrritableTech.Co.UkÂ – Get it?
It’s a useful service to ensure that the destination is where you think it is. Â People use short url services to make a dodgy link look genuine. Â bit.ly/xjU6RYÂ could lead anywhere, a phishing site, malware, pornography, or it could lead to the BBC news article suggested by the person who created it. So this is a handy service.
I do hope however that my online reputation means that most people trust my links, and I’m here to tell you that I am the only person who is able to create short URLs at IrTe.Eu. Â The system is secured with a good password, and the API key is private (and only currently in my iPhone). Â What’s more, if you would like to see where the URL is taking you, just add a “~” to the end of the address. Â Eg. irte.eu/2h~.