Shortened Links and Viruses

Dear Public… wake up.

Shortened links have always posed a threat in the world of cyber security.  It saddens me that I see an article entitled “New Virus: Watch Out for Goo.gl Links on Twitter” posted to LifeHacker.com regarding goo.gl, Google’s link shortening system that is leverage for Google Maps and as an extension to shorten links through the Chrome browser, or you can just go to the web browser.

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Such short links are used all the time in Twitter, Facebook and other means so as to allow users to paste a link that is not obnoxiously long or that might run over a carriage break causing the link to break.

While the former may seem like something that is understandable so as to not overtake an e-mail message or a tweet, some individuals might wonder about the latter.  For individuals that don’t quite understand how to concatenate a URL it might seem daunting when the link is clicked and IE/Firefox/Chrome/Safari/Opera is opened and nothing renders except for a Page Not Found error.

Further, why is it that everyone is suddenly in a tizzy that goo.gl may be spawning viruses. I think I’ve seen this story for TinyURL, Bit.ly, and a half dozen other link shorteners.

Bottom line, practice responsible use of the Internet. I remember several years ago an employer stating that they had an acceptable use policy that employees needed to follow. How is that suddenly got skipped for home users? Do we need a certification to use the Internet these days?

</soapbox>

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