Universal Resource Locator or URL in short is a very common term on the internet. The URL is basically the address of any website on the web. Usually URL can be of different structures and lengths. By observing URL of any website we can get some idea about the website and web page before visiting it. For example if you see an URL like www.flowertips.com/types-of-roses we can assume that the website is about gives tips about flowers and the web page is mostly about different types of roses. But what if you see some URL like bit.ly/ajjkd can you guess the website before visiting? No. This kind of URL is called shortened URL.

Preview shortened urls

These short URLs are very useful when we are sharing links on social networks like Twitter where the maximum character limit is only 160. So we have to use short URL there. Shortened URLs are easy to share through instant messaging or SMS. Sometimes it can be used to hide the actual website address from others. Most of the time shortened URLs are useful but there are some security related problems with it. Hackers and other bad guys are taking advantage of this shortened URL service to hide malicious website links from users. So if you unknowingly click on these links and visit malicious websites your computer might get affected by virus or any other security threats or your social networking account might get hacked. So you should be very careful before clicking these suspicious links.

To stay on the safe side, I’ll recommend previewing shortened URLs before clicking those. There are some ways to preview shortened links. In this article I’ll show you how to preview shortened URL before clicking.

How to preview shortened URL before visiting the site:

Bit.ly:

Bit.ly is one of the most used URL shortening services. You can create a short URL and keep track of clicks and other related information using the analytics features. Bit.ly offers the easiest way to preview shortened links before clicking. To do this copy the bit.ly short URL and open a new browser tab and paste the link into the address bar and add one plus sign (+) to the end. That’s all!

Bitly preview shortened url

Now it will show the actual URL of the website along with some related information like how many times the link has been clicked or shared, referrers of the link and visitor location etc.

TinyURL

TinyURL is another popular URL shortener service. To preview and shortened URLs you have you just add ‘preview’ before the shortened URL. For example if the shortened URL is http://tinyurl.com/dhjsdh then you just add ‘preview’ before the link like this http://preview.tinyurl.com/dhjsdh Now you can see the actual URL from the shortened URL.

preview Tinyurl before visiting

Goo.gl

It is the URL shortening service offered for the search engine giant Google. Just like the earlier two services you can preview the actual URL before visiting it. Previewing goo.gl shortened URL is similar to Bit.ly, here you have to add a plus sign (+) just after the goo.gl link. So if the link is like http://goo.gl/BAKIY you just type http://goo.gl/BAKIY+ to preview the site where the link will take you.

Preview url shortener goo.gl

Goo.gl also shows some information about the shortened URL like number of clicks, referring source, browsers, countries, etc.

I hope this quick tip to preview shortened URL will be useful to you. If you know any simpler ways to do this, please share the tips with us.


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