What’s Hidden Behind a Bitly Link?

Bitly is a convenient URL shortener that Ive utilized for several years. As a signed up user I can develop custom, shortened URLs that people can actually spell. I utilize these whenever I need to share a link to a Canva or Google Slides discussion since the default URLs offered by those services are incoherent and constantly long..

This post initially appeared on FreeTech4Teachers.com. If you see it in other places, it has been used without permission. Sites that routinely steal my (Richard Byrnes) work consist of CloudComputin, TodayHeadline, and 711Web.

Bitly is a helpful URL shortener that Ive utilized for many years. There is an easy method to rapidly determine whats behind a Bitly URL without in fact clicking on the link. When you add the “+” the URL will reroute to Bitly instead of to whatever the original URL was.

Applications for Education.
Building excellent digital citizenship and cyber security skills is something that everyone ought to be helping our students do. Showing them little ideas like this one to avoid clicking suspicious links is one of the methods that we can help our trainees build their digital citizenship and cyber safety skills.

Regrettably, not all Bitly users are utilizing them for excellent reasons. Some individuals use them to hide dubious links. Fortunately, there is an easy way to quickly identify whats behind a Bitly URL without actually clicking the link. The technique is to merely add a “+” to the end of any Bitly URL. When you add the “+” the URL will redirect to Bitly instead of to whatever the original URL was. That will then show you the Bitly page on which the shortened URL is hosted and will show you what the original link was..
You can attempt this technique with a URL that I just recently reduced. Bit.ly/ THWTAPRIL will lead you directly to a copy of the slides that I utilized in my current Intro to Teaching History With Technology webinar. Bit.ly/ THWTAPRIL+ will lead you to the Bitly page where you can see my initial discussion URL and see when I produced the reduced URL..
View this short video to see how you can use the “+” technique to discover whats hidden behind a Bitly link..

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