Spammers using shortened URLs to spread their muck

Message Labs – part of internet security guru Symantec – is warning that shortened URLs are becoming an issue in terms of spam.

This graph shows how the inclusion of shortened URLs in spam email has increased from practically nothing a to almost 2% in just a few days:


Shortened URLs are perfect for spammers because not only do they mask dodgy sounding domain names that users would usually be wary of, they also help spam mail bypass anti-spam programmes. Services such as tinyurl are also free and require no registration.

Matt Sergeant from Message Labs, said: “The entire trust model of clicking on the URL is completely broken,” he said. He also said it was impossible to trust URLs on Twitter as many people retweet links, often without even clicking on them first themselves.

(via NYTimes)

Facebook polls users on whether they'd pay for vanity URLs


Social networking goliath Facebook is considering offering paid-for vanity URLs to users. It would mean that, for a fee, you’d be able to get

The URLs might go through a bidding process, so that whoever bids the highest gets access to a particular shortcode. The site currently only offers them to selected high-profile users to encourage them to use the site more.

Most sites usually take a ‘first-come, first-served’ approach to usernames, but that’s resulted in many companies having trouble getting their trademarks because they’re being squatted on by other users. Companies that try and shift the squatters often gain intense criticism.

Would you pay for a vanity URL on Facebook? If it wasn’t too expensive, I think I might. Let us know your thoughts on Twitter – message @techdigest.

(via AllFacebook)