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URL shorteners provide a useful, simple, way of sharing links; but these links can unwittingly expose your most personal information. Some researches were carried out, and it was found that millions of bit.ly generated short URLs and found that randomly generating the addresses allowed them to access the content behind them.
Below I will be highlighting some hazards that could be incurred using url shorteners.
- Short URLs are able to access millions of driving routes and hundreds of thousands of private documents. In particular, the links related to Google Maps data and documents stored on Microsoft’s OneDrive.
- It would be theoretically possible to add malware and malicious documents to OneDrive folders, which would then automatically synced to a user’s computer.
- The flaw in short URLs have serious consequences on the security of cloud services.
- URL shorteners are mostly used by scammers to shorten adverts for the purpose of inflating costs on their advertisers using unsuspecting visitors as bait.
- Hackers can also take advantage of shorteners to gain access to one’s system and log files.
Final words, most time we may want to fantasize about the idea of reducing the length of our links, for the purpose of sharing and whatsoever. But security of our privacy is in our hands and we all have to extra miles to protect them. Be alert and stay watchful.
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