Is There a Way to Know Where a URL-shortened URL Is Going to Take Me?

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Before deleting spam, I often hover over the link to see where it is supposed to take me. These days, most spammers use a TinyURL. Is there a way to find out the real URL without clicking on it?

Yes. In fact, there are a couple of ways.

But first, let’s talk about links in email and short links in general.

Read moreIs There a Way to Know Where a URL-shortened URL Is Going to Take Me?

Footnotes & references

1: These services have a tendency to come and go.

2: You might notice that I use my own URL shortener/redirector here. An additional reason to use shorteners is to a) track how many people click the link and b) potentially change or update the destination, should there be a reason in the future.

Can I Rely on the URL Shown in the Browser’s Status Bar Being Accurate?

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In a recent article, you said to only click links in email when you know the sender AND that they recently sent you a link. Your accompanying discussion and advice is excellent and very helpful. I have a further question for clarification. When I place my pointer over a link in an email or a web page, a URL shows up in the left end of the banner at the bottom of the screen. Can I be certain that this is the address that I will be sent to? In other words, can the bad guys disguise their actual undesirable URL with one that looks okay but still sends me somewhere else that I wouldn’t want to go?

Good question, but the answer is you can’t really trust the URL that appears in the status bar at the bottom of your email program or web browser.

There are several reasons why. Let’s talk about a couple of them.

Read moreCan I Rely on the URL Shown in the Browser’s Status Bar Being Accurate?