Twitter: How to Preview Short URLs Before Clicking Through – Koobface Internet Worm Protection

Poor Twitter has had a rough week. Last week it was denial-of-service (DOS) attacks that caused Twitter to go down and is still causing issues.

Now the Koobface Internet Worm has reared it’s ugly head again. Koobface is the worm that sends out messages either via Twitter, Facebook or on other social networking sites using shortened URLs (which are very common on such sites) that redirect the user to a fake login page. The problem is that the user clicks the shortened URL and doesn’t check the browser address bar to see where they’ve landed to double-check that it’s where they thought they were going, and they just start typing in their personal information – thus giving it away to the bad guys.

However, in the case of Twitter, there is one way to protect yourself: TweetDeck. TweetDeck has the option to allow you to click a shortened URL and preview the full URL before you click through and visit the site.Ā  Smart indeed!

This is easy to setup, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open TweetDeck
  2. Log in, if you aren’t already
  3. Click the settings icon, upper right corner
  4. Under the General tab, tic the box next to “Show preview information for short URLs”
  5. Click Save

That’s it. Now this will work in most cases. If you come upon a URL that does not reveal a full URL, then do not click through. Contact the person who sent the tweet before you click through to confirm that they sent it and have them DM you the full URL or have them send it to you again.

Even if you do click through a shortened URL and find yourself on a page and the web address doesn’t look right, simply close your browser and do not enter in your personal information. They can’t get what you do not give them.

Browse smart – browse safe.

Traci Knoppe

P.S. How do you use Twitter, do you use Twitter’s web site, a third-party application like TweetDeck, Seesmic Desktop, People Browsr or something else?

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