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Twitter updates short URL service to protect against malware and record clicks

Twitter has updated its link service, that automatically shortens URLs, to protect users from malicious sites and malware. As long URLs are converted into short links, they are checked against a list of dangerous websites.

Jenny Williams is a correspondent for Computer Weekly.

She supports the technology team as well as covering mobile and desktop computing.

Follow her on Twitter @jennylwilliams

jenny.williams@rbi.co.uk 

Twitterhas updated its link service, that automatically shortens URLs, to protect users from malicious sites and malware.

Long URLs are converted into short links using http://t.co, which maintains the domain name in the shortened URL and also checks links against a list of dangerous websites.

Arnaud Meunier, a platform product team member at Twitter, said: "We've just completed our transition to automatically wrap all URLs, regardless of their length, with the t.co URL wrapper."

The link service will measure how many times a link is clicked.

"This constitutes the last technical step of a large effort helping us understand how users engage with the tens of millions of links shared daily on Twitter, while also giving us a means to protect users from malicious sites and scams," continued Meunier.

Twitter confirmed users can still use other URL shorteners, such as bit.ly, and tracking metrics.

The link service at http://t.co is only used on links posted on Twitter and is not available as a general shortening service.

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