THE NUMERATOR

That shortened URL just might be spam

With the exploding popularity of Twitter, more people than ever are using services that shorten Web addresses, such as Tinyurl.com, which translates a long Web address into one short enough to be tucked into a 140-character message. Perhaps inevitably, spammers have taken note. Spam-filter provider MessageLabs, a division of Symantec, has found that the number of shortened addresses that are actually spam — deceptively linking to a questionable site — has risen dramatically in the past couple of months.

The percentage of shortened URLs that are spam:

April: 0.11%

May: 0.34%

June: 1.80%

July: 2.23%

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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