There has been a spate of so-called “offers” offering free iDevices, tempting users of social media networks to click on a link using a shortened URL service (such as bit.ly).
They do offer something free if you click: malware.
While companies such as bit.ly are blocking such sites, we’d like to warn social media users to take extra-special care both in clicking through to tempting offers (if they sound to good to be true, they probably are) and the dangers of clicking on shortened URLs, particularly on services such as twitter.com, where shortened URLs are used due to the 140 character tweeting limit.
Some simple steps you can take to avoid be caught out:
- Make sure you are running and up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware solution.
- Use a twitter or facebook client that shows where the shortened URL is going to (such as tweetdeck).
- Offers sounding too good to be true, usually are.
- Only enter free give-a-ways run by reputable and most importantly recognised media.