url shortener for phishing

url shortener for phishing


Uniform Resource Locators—URLs to you and me—are of course nothing more than web addresses, and they’re a valuable content sharing tool. Back in the day, no one thought much of long URL links; it’s just the way things were.  But today, we like our links to be neat and tidy.

So when someone posts an ugly link on Twitter or Facebook, people are quick to point out that it looks terrible. And while there is some truth to this, I think it misses the mark. The problem with these ugly URLs isn�

Created in 2002, TinyURL was the first URL shortener. Creator Kevin Gilberston's idea was simple: plug in a long URL, such as the Google Maps address for the Empire State Building..

The site also has a handy little widget that lets users bookmark their shortened URLs so they can share them easily.

TinyURL is still going strong after all these years, but its popularity has waned over time. It now serves about 2 billion requests per month, down from 6 billion in 2011.

While many people use TinyURL to save space on their

A good URL shortener (aka link shortener) lets you do two things: 1. Share links that don’t use too many characters. 2. Measure performance.

Here’s how it works: When you create a new link using a URL shortening service, you get a unique code. That code is then used to shorten your original URL. For example, if you have a website called

A good URL shortener (aka link shortener) lets you do two things: 1. Share links that don't use too many characters. 2. Measure performance.

With URL shorteners, any long and unwieldy website address can be reduced to just a few characters in the click of a button. 

Anyone with an internet browser can use link shorteners: social media managers, regular everyday Facebook moms, small business owners, TikTok tweens of all heights and you!

Here's everything you need to know about how to use URL shorteners, and why they should be an essential part of your social media tool kit

Bonus: Get a free social media strategy template to quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients. 

you might want to create a link to it that uses only three letters instead of four.

You can always go back later and edit the link to add more information. This means less clutter on your profile page, which makes it easier to find what you're looking for.

If you're not sure whether a particular URL will work with

Twitter has a strict character limit of 280, so keeping posts concise is key. Shortened URLs give you that much more room for that poignant observation about politics, or the perfect punctuating emoji for your killer joke about hot dogs.

Even for posts on Facebook or Instagram, where the character limits are in the thousands, it's still best for readability and engagement to keep things short and sweet. Short URLs help avoid TL;DR syndrome.

Another benefit of shorter links: they're also useful for IM or email, where longer links may be hard to read, or disrupted all together by line breaks.

Shorten your URL before sharing it online. If you're posting something on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other platforms, make sure to include a link to your post.

Your followers won't mind if you shorten your URL. They'll appreciate the fact that you took the time to write a thoughtful message, and they'll love that you didn't waste precious characters on unnecessary details.

It's important to note that some services like Bitly and TinyURL will automatically shorten your URL when

URL shorteners are a great tool to share a web address without a lot of typing. PhishMe Intelligence™ recently observed malicious actors using these services to distribute malware through shortened links.

In July 2018, we reported that this type of attack was being used to spread ransomware via shortened links. Malicious actors were creating shortened links that redirected users to compromised websites that displayed ads from the Ransomware CoinVault Trojan. The ads contained malicious code that would download and install the CoinVault Trojan onto victims' computers.

In August 2019, we reported that this method of distribution was being used to spread the WannaCry virus.


A LinkedIn URL shortener is used to redirect users to phishing sites. In May 2019, researchers at security firm Symantec found that hackers had been distributing malicious software disguised as legitimate files through shortened links on LinkedIn.

The links directed users to fake login pages that collected their credentials and sent them to remote servers controlled by the attackers.

The same technique was used to distribute the NotPetya malware in June 2017.

The technique was also used to distribute the Angler exploit kit in November 2014.

LinkedIn has since updated its platform to prevent such attacks

Shortened URLs, such as those from bit.ly and goo.gl, make it easy to type in a web address quickly but hard to tell where your web browser will actually take you.

Before clicking a shortened URL, check for the full URL. Most URL shorteners including those used at U-M include a preview feature. If you aren't sure it is safe, don't click!

Before creating or sharing a shortened URL, consider alternatives. If you must use one, make clear where it goes.

Be aware that criminals use shortened URLs to direct people to phishing sites and initiate malware downloads. Don't click shortened URLs unless you know what you're doing.

If you're not comfortable with the idea of giving out personal information over an unsecure connection, try a different service.

For example, Google Drive allows you to create public documents