Shortened URLs - harm a lot rather than helping us

Shortened URLs help us to reduce complexity in a writing a web address. These shortened URLs harm a lot rather than helping us. They have now become weapons to spread malicious software for hackers. So, beware of these malware and avoid unnecessary clicks on links with shortened URLs. Go through the article to know more about the effect of shortened URLs.

The internet today has become a sweet home for malware or malicious software. Every year some millions of dangerous threats appear and cyber criminals are constantly coming up with new and advanced tricks to track the internet users. Their work has become more easier today with the help of shortened URLs. These shortened URLs gained more popularity as they reduce space of text fields. URL shortening services allow users to submit a URL and receive a specially coded shortened one that directs to original web address. Therefore, attackers are using such type of services as they hide the original destination URL.
Malware in shortened urls
Social Networks provide an effective platform for hackers to launch such kind of attacks. Generally users are interested in clicking those links on their friends' posts without suspecting them. They may thus lead to websites that contain attack tool-kits. Since people frequently visit social networks they may easily be attacked by such malware through these shortened URLs. I don't mean to say that all shortened URLs are dangerous. Besides larger websites, many small businesses have their own internet presence i.e, they entered an internet-based marketing. Hackers don't care you, they just target your business. Most probably they target small businesses expecting that they'll have more money in their bank accounts.

Using their attacking tricks they extract every information required to steal your bank account's login information also, they may steal your customers' credit card details which may harm your business. Since cyber criminals are our co-humans they too use social networks and the main reason is that they can spread correct information with less expenditure. Since many employees are now using smartphones and tablets to access their corporate data, cyber criminals target even your smartphones and tablets. They are going to find employment in this new market.

You should secure yourselves

Some popular websites like Facebook, Google, Twitter etc. use Secure Socket Layer certificates to encrypt the data of their customers on all pages. This facility besides terminating the middle-man attacks, also offers end-to-end security that secures every web page visited or used by users. Just securing login page and Financial transactions is an old rule, securing everything has become a new and necessary duty for every website.

Extended Validation Secure Socket Layer Certificate

This SSL certificate gives a high end security level for authenticating and triggering the browsers to provide an indication to the user which indicates that he is on a secure connection by turning the address or URL bar green. One can make his/her website secure from malicious attacks:
  • Implement a secure socket layer certificate and see that it is active every time.

  • Scan your website daily to detect the presence of malicious software.

  • Make sure that you have set up a server side input validation, because the database is more vulnerable to attacks.

  • Activating just antivirus is not enough as they cannot detect malware on your website.

  • Get certificate from a well established authority who offers excellent security by protecting your private keys.

  • EV SSL should be implemented on your website.

  • Read Case study: Changing domain name and re branding a popular website


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