Internet is not a safe place any more. Before opening any URL from a person, one must make sure that it will not take him to some malicious or unsafe site. If it does, there is a high probability that your PC will be infected with loads of viruses and Trojans. And many people these days shorten URLs for easy access and sharing. What I normally do when someone shares a shortened URL is check where this URL will redirect me. To do that, there are many useful websites available on the internet and one of them is, KnowURL.
KnowURL is a useful online service which helps users expand the short URL and find out where it will lead them. To make long story short, it unshorten the link and you can be sure whether the link you are opening is safe or not.
To use the service, all you have to do is paste the short URL in the field provided and click on Expand Me button. Within seconds, it will display the full URL and you can check whether the website you are opening is authentic or not.
KnowURL is a really useful service for those who want to be on the safe side and make sure that they do not open something which can harm their computer. If you like KnowURL, you can even install its extension which is available on Google Chrome. The service currently support all the major URL shortening services including bit.ly, tinyURL and few others.