Shorten & Brand Weblinks, QR code & analytics

URL shortener


Trying to use URL shorteners? Careful of the risks

url shortener risks

While URL/Link shorteners serve a great purpose when trying to make the most of your marketing strategy and campaigns, and we've tried to describe those benefits in Benefits of URL shorterners, however the users and the people who click on these shortened links must also be wary of some of the potential risks shortened links cary.

URL shorteners are useful for creating concise links, however they can also be exploited for malicious purposes by cyber criminals. Here are some of the potential risks associated with shortened URLs:

Mystification of Destination

Shortened URLs hide the destination link, making it difficult to determine where the link leads without clicking on it. This can be exploited by cyber criminals to trick users into visiting harmful websites.


url shortener risks phishing

Get updates on latest posts and more from URL84 straight to your inbox.

Do sign in to our newsletter.

By signing up to newsletter, I agree to receive your newsletters and accept the terms & privacy statement.


Malicious users may create shortened URLs that mimic legitimate websites to conduct phishing attacks. Users might be tricked into entering sensitive information on fraudulent sites.

One of the such sites we found is https://erosads.app/login/32

This website owner created a short link using shlink.in

However team URL84 disabled the link as soon as our audits identified it as a phishing site created to fraud erosads.com users.

We also notified original website https://erosads.com/ about this phishing attempt.

Be careful of the links you see and click on, you may lose your critical data and suffer losses.

Malware Distribution

url shortener risks malware

Malware is a short form for a malicious software, and it refers to any intrusive software developed by cyber criminals (often called as hackers) to steal data and damage or destroy computers systems. Examples of common malware include viruses, worms, Trojan viruses, spyware, adware, and ransomware.

Shortened URLs can be used to distribute malware. Clicking on a seemingly harmless link might lead to the download of malicious software onto the user's device.

Link Rot

url shortener risks broken link

Some URL shortening services may shut down or change their policies, leading to "link rot" where the shortened URLs no longer work, potentially causing issues for legitimate users. URL84 links are set to expire when it's never clicked in last 1 month giving users and URL creator ample time to use it. Check URL84 Terms of Use for further information. URL84 is committed to provide a risk free environment to it's users.

So, please try to create short links to serve a specific purpose during a specific period ( like Christmas Promotion ), that way you can achieve most out of your short URL.

How to safeguard yourself from these risks?

In order to mitigate these risks, consider the following precautions:

Preview the Link

url shortener risks link preview

Some URL shorteners provide a preview feature that allows you to see the destination URL before clicking on it. Use this feature when available. If the preview feature is not available on shorterner's website, try to use whatsapp, facebook or any social media to preview the link.

If the preview is not available DO NOT click on the link.

Install Browser Extensions:

There are browser extensions and online tools that can preview and analyze shortened URLs for potential risks before clicking on them.

url shortener google link preview

You can use google link preview chrome extension and can be downloaded here 👉 Preview any link, anywhere - Link Preview

Use Full URLs When Possible

In situations where security is a primary concern, consider using the full, original URL instead of a shortened version.

Educate Users

Users should be educated about the potential risks associated with clicking on shortened URLs, especially in emails or messages from unknown sources.

Always exercise caution when clicking on links, especially if they are from unfamiliar sources or seem suspicious. Additionally, be aware that the landscape of URL shorteners may evolve, and staying informed about best practices and potential risks is essential.


While URL shorteners can be convenient for sharing concise links, it's crucial to weigh the benefits against the potential risks and consider the context in which they are being used. In situations where security and transparency are paramount, using full URLs or employing other secure link-sharing methods may be preferable. Educating users about the potential risks associated with URL shorteners is also an essential aspect of maintaining online safety.

Help Everyone

Report any malicious or unwanted shortened links to the service provider.

If you see any harmful short URLs created using URL84 engine, do contact us. Click button below,

Get In Touch

#ShortURL #URLShortener #DigitalMarketing #LinkManagement #ShortUrlAnalytics #QRCodes #URLShortenerRisks


Share this article to social media