A couple weeks back I delicately expressed my concern about clicking shortened URLs on our Android phones. If you weren't paying attention, there's a nasty bug in some Samsung phones that can delete all user data if you click a malicious link -- one that's easily hidden behind a URL shortener like bit.ly or goo.gl. I promised to make someone famous if they would create a great solution for all of us on Android.
Quite a few folks sent apps in, and while all of them worked as intended, I have to give the hat tip to JP2014 for the LinkBuster app. It does two things I'm crazy about -- uses Android intents, and incorporates the Web of Trust service.
Using it is really easy. Install it from Google Play using the link above, and any time you click a URL you get the choice to open it in LinkBuster. If it's a link you trust, just choose your browser. But if it's a link that looks sketchy, or is shortened and you have no idea where it will take you, choose LinkBuster from the menu provided.
One the LinkBuster app is opened, you get the full version of the URL as well as the Web of Trust rating for it. The Web of Trust is crowd sourced data from folks like you and me, and it's usually spot-on about the safety and validity of links. Cory turned me on to it last year, and I think it's a great tool. Having it incorporated this way is perfect -- you use it when you have reason to question a link, and the rest of the time it's out of the way.
The web is a nasty place. Plenty of folks want to make things miserable for others, and we have to be on guard against it. Tools like LinkBuster can help. It's free, so give it a try!
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