Should your software use short URLs? There are many advantages to using a short URL for your software. Firstly, it’s a lot neater when advertising a certain sub-heading or page on your website. For example, say we used toroox the new URL shortener for your cloud-based file drive, let’s call it Toroox would shorten this to the much more appealing to the eye. With Toroox and many other URL shortening services, you can also earn money from when the shortened URL is clicked. Shortened URLs are also good for tracking purposes.

If you would like to track how many clicks a certain link gets – say one advertised by one of your employees, a shortened URL is able to do this and is useful for statistics and to see if you are deploying effective advertisement. Shortened URLs also promote sharing, especially through social media with character restrictions like twitter. But shortened URLs also come with a huge downside, people sometimes don’t trust shortened URLs and won’t click on them for a start, this will stop traffic to your site.

Also, short URLs have major security issues when it comes to a short URL containing a link to a private file or details. It has been known that shortened URLs of Microsoft’s OneDrive has easily revealed people’s private information and files to hackers. Using brute forced methods, which is an attacker using an extremely powerful set of CPUs to generate many different short URLs to eventually find one with information or files worth stealing, albeit OneDrive has worked on not allowing a set of computers from one area to spam the server.

Overall, there are many advantages to using short URLs, but there are some disadvantages depending on your clientele, market and if your software contains private content not for the eyes of everybody.

Last modified: 04/05/2020



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