Please Do Not Post Shortened URLs
Posted: Tue Oct 20, 2009 2:15 pm
Shortened URLs such as TinyURL.com or bit.ly will no longer be allowed in posts. When drafting the rules for this site, I canvassed a lot of other forums and most of them had a rule against shortened URLs. At the time I didn't see a need to disallow them. However since then it has been pointed out to me how they pose a security risk to users. Although to my knowledge they have never been abused here, I don't want it to ever happen. A summary version of the problem with shortened URLs is:
Sorry for the inconvenience.Unfortunately, attackers can easily exploit a shortened URL to lure users into accessing malicious Web sites. Because the shortened URL is a random collection of characters that has nothing to do with the actual URL, users cannot easily determine whether it is legitimate.