The methods that use cybercriminals to manage to infiltrate people’s devices have improved with the passage of time and also use free services on Internet to affect people with online scams. Short links are also a tool that can lead to data breaches. safety digital.
The short links have the feature of using fewer characters in a link that leads users to the same Web page established by its creator. Sometimes they can be customized to make them more attractive, but in general none of them shows or gives a clue about the website to which they redirect
According to the Internet User Security Office (OSI) of Spain, this is the most risky function of short links because they give less information to users. Entering them is the only option they are given and that is precisely the risk they present: people have to “trust” that the link not be harmful. However, there are ways to tell when they have a high chance of being fake.
When links are sent by contacts
Like the campaigns virtual scams that are disseminated through media such as emails Y WhatsAppcybercriminals also use these platforms as a way to replicate a short link and pass it off as a message about a prize pending claim, a raffle, a discount for filling out a formetc.
However, the cybercriminals request that the links be forwarded to other people to “collect the prize” or so that “others also have a chance to win”. It is also possible that a virus infiltrated a smartphone either computer seek to replicate by automatically sending a message that includes the link without the consent of the Username.
To avoid falling into this type of situation, it is recommended not to open any short link before asking the Contact that sent it if you intended to write that message and what type of content it redirects. In the event that these have been sent by supposed companies as part of promotions, either by mail either SMSit is recommended not to click on them if the message it comes from common numbers (+57 123 456 789, for example) or from domains like @gmail.com, @outlook.com, @yahoo.com, among others instead of institutional accounts.
Using a url parsing service
Just like cybercriminals can use free tools to spread online scam campaigns, users also have some that will help identify the short links that are dangerous or contain some harmful element.
Shortlink parsers are easy to use: just go into one of them, paste the links that you want to review in the search bar as if it were the search engine Google and click on the magnifying glass icon.
In the case of Nortonthe cybersecurity company has SafeWebwhich allows to analyze not only modified links, but also any other type of links whether short or not, to qualify it as safe and categorize it according to its use, such as “video games”, “social media“, among others. In case they are not safe sitesthe tool will indicate what kind of threat is behind the link, such as “virus”, “phishing” Y “spyware”.
As well as the service offered by the company, there are also others that are free to use, such as urlxray.com, which only indicates the original website, or getlinkinfo.com, which complements the data from the websites originals with descriptions of the web pages prepared by the community.