It’s safe to say that Twitter is a big reason URL shortening services have gained popualarity lately. Twitter’s 140 character maximum encourages people to take advantage of any space-saving service.
It’s also safe to say that URL-shortened links are a hacker’s new best friend. Why? Because if you see a link to a long and jumbled site that looks suspicious, you’re probably going to stay away. But if you see a or a pre-fix, you’re going to expect a gibberish ending. So, hackers are much better off using these URL-shorteners when trying to trick users.
So, where does that leave you? You have to have faith in your source. If someone you trust on Twitter provides the link, make sure they’ve given some context that doesn’t sound spammy, so you know that their hacked account isn’t simply targeting you next.