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Old 09-16-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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I wanted to post a link to an original ad in a Referral thread, and when I pasted it into the reply, it was very, very long. So I went to and made it short.

However Greg A. let me know that this poses a security risk, and that many places are banning the use of tinyurl.

So, I would like to know the moderator's thoughts on this.

1) Would you like us to forgo the use of "tiny url"?

2) If so, is there another good way to post links to super-long URLs?

I don't want to pose any sort of risk the the forum or its users, but I do think it's important/useful to share information, and so I like include the original source when posting about an ad or product.


PS: Edited to add that from the little reading I have now done, it looks like the risk isn't with the tiny urls themselves, but it's when people with ill intent use a tiny url to take people to a fake website. So, for example, if someone trusts me, and knows that I posted a tiny url, it's not that that one can be dangerous. The danger would be if someone with ill intent planned it out, and posted a tiny url that they knew went somewhere evil.

Apparently this is the use of the newer "preview" feature that tiny urls have (I wondered what that was for). The preview allows one to ascertain in advance where the link is taking them.

Greg A, if you are reading this, did I understand the problem correctly?
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:29 PM   #2
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I think the moderators will keep an eye on links. The couple of spammers that have slipped through, usually send someone to a porn site or such... and we can't have that! I use Tiny URL when the regular URL has an "at" sign, like Flickr uses. It's the only way we can have a link go directly where it needs to go.

I've posted some really, really long URLs, but always put the title in the second popup... where it says "Please enter the title for this item" rather than repeating the URL.

Does this explanation help?
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:47 PM   #3
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Hi Donna,

Thanks. I'll use TinyUrl when I need to, but otherwise I'll paste in the URL and then use the Title feature on it (which, I had not noticed - thanks!)
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:51 AM   #4
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Sorry, hardly ever see this stuff at the bottom of the page...

Yes, the risk is in disguising redirection to unwanted sites or to launch malicious code to infect your computer. They can be OK if they are from a "trusted source" as Raya discovered in her reading, but how do you determine in a forum of 10000+ members who is a "trusted source?" I know you, you know me, Donna knows us, but not many of us know the many that join every week and so on. So the risk becomes real if url shortening services become commonplace in a forum, then people drop their guard and begin to think anytime they see one they are ok to just click on it, and that's where they get ya.... As Donna says, sometimes they're just flat necessary, but most times they aren't and security best practice is to avoid them when at all possible.

Hope that helps......
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