If you didn't know, because of Twitter and other social sites with space restrictions on posts, there are new "url shortening" services out there like "tinyurl" that instead of showing you something like this:
Shows you something like this instead http://tinyurl.com/cblos7
The advantage is that you save valuable space on your tweets or blog posts, but the disadvantage is that you have no idea where you're really going. Considering that sometimes the only thing that keeps you from getting hacked is NOT going to bad websites, these shortening services present an enormous risk to your computer security.
However, if you go to the Lifehacker article linked above, you'll find an article that describes a plugin for Firefox that will replace the shortened URL with the full one (providing several different options for how they are displayed.
To get the plugin, follow the link from the Lifehacker article, or just click here to go directly to the plugin's page.
If you aren't using Firefox or can't install the plugin for some reason, most shortening services have a preview function that allows you to see the URL you're going to before actually going there. To activate the preview feature, do the following:
Tinyurl: Prefix with "preview"
From – http://tinyurl.com/cblos7
To – http://preview.tinyurl.com/cblos7
Is.gd: Suffix with a dash
From – http://is.gd/3KvWm
To – http://is.gd/3KvWm-
Bit.ly: Suffix with + (not an official preview funciton, but does show title and URL anyway)
From – http://bit.ly/info/aq44T
To – http://bit.ly/info/aq44T+
Cli.gs: Not currently possible
Snipurl: Not currently possible
, Internet Security