Use URL Uncover to check if a shortened link is safe

The Web is a scary place where shortened links can take you to the darkest corner of the Internet.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

There is no shortage of Web services to help you verify that a shortened link is legit and not something that's going to load you up with malware or steal personal information. But when it comes to online privacy, it's always good to have options. Instead of adding a "+" to the end of a bit.ly link, or using Unshorten.it , give URL Uncover a look the next time you get suspicious.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Addictive Tips recently wrote about URL Uncover, which will let you enter a shortened URL from over 100 different shortening services. After submitting the URL, you'll be given a screenshot of the Web site, the lengthened link, any keywords associated with the page, and most importantly a virtual thumbs-up or -down indicating whether the site is safe (see below). The green thumbs-up is provided by McAfee Site Advisor.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Perhaps the best part about this particular service is that it's mobile-friendly. I've been able to access the site and use the service on a wide range of devices without issue. Sure, it's a pain to take the time to copy and paste a link from a rogue DM or mention on Twitter into a Web site in another app, but the time it can potentially save you is well worth it.

 

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