URL Shorteners is a technology which has been present for a pretty long time now. The first notable services of this technology TinyURL has been released in 2002. After that, this service has been increasing rapidly and offering services in numerous different areas to their customers.
Apart from URL Shortening services, they providing the service of tracking the activities on the shortened link which is professionally termed as Link Analytics. However, these days service to customize shortened URL is also provided to make your link look attractive. So, it’s just mean of Shortening the length of your URL.
But, they are not the perfect solution and comes with some pros and cons of their own. So, let’s first study the URL Shortening service pros and cons to see how they are affecting the privacy and safety of the person on social media. Let’s first start with the list of pros.
URL Shortening Pros
#1. Attractive posts
URL Shortening comes into our life due to Twitter. The limited character limit of Twitter enables people from sharing long links with their posts. So, this problem results develops the solution in the form of shortening the URL to incorporate long links into Twitter to make the most attractive and informative. Thus, to make your Twitter social media posts attractive, you can definitely use this service.
#2. Link Analytic
These days role of the URL Shortening service isn’t limited to reducing the size of the URL. No, they offer plenty of other services as well as tracking. For example, Bitly is a link Shortening service provider which offers Link Tracking Feature. This feature enables the user to track the user activity-number of clicks, geographic location of the user who clicked the link on the shortened URL. You can even access the popularity of link with the help of these services.
The Shortening URL service offers another feature of customizing the link. The link can be customized to look random and attractive by adjusting the strings used in the link. This will helps in maintaining the simple and clean URL link which can be easily understood.
URL Shortening Cons
#1. Spammers & Hackers
Spammers and hackers are using link Shortening service to get hold of the victim’s computer. They share links and fool people by encouraging them to click on the link. They either set up virus through the fake URL or transfer all the important user credentials through URL. This highly breaches the privacy and security of the person. To avoid this problem keep following things in your mind;
- Always check the link before visiting it. Just place your cursor on the link and you will get an idea where the shortened link will take you.
- Never open Shortened URL posted by unknown person on the social media.
- Never share your important credentials on these links.
#2. Dead Link
If the service used to shorten the link stops working or disconnected, then the link will automatically become a dead link. As the service provider has the responsibility to broadcast the shortened link.
Numerous social media platforms won’t accept the shortened links. Such as Wikipedia won’t accept the short link. Yahoo!Answers blocks posts that contain links shortened using TinyURL Shortening service.
#4. Breach of Privacy and Security
As we have already discussed that URL Shortening service breaches the privacy and security of the users. They steal personal credentials of the user and misuse them according to their conviction. A number of link Shortening service providers are listed as security threats. For example, TinyURL was declared unsafe by ZoneAlarm, stating that TinyURL is known to spread spyware.
Well, URL Shortening service is a bittersweet service with some advantages and some disadvantages. It depends upon your requirement and utilization that whether they are good for you or not. We can only say that use shortened link at your own risk.