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Security Threats of URL Shortening: A User’s Perspective

Authors: 

Nhien-An Le-Khac, Tahar Kechadi

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
Abstract: 
Short URLs have been used on the Internet for several years now and as time goes by new security threats are discovered in relation to their use (e.g. malware, phishing, spam). However, although current research in literature has compiled addressing the security threats when utilizing such types of URLs, no study approached the assessment of user confidence and user awareness regarding short URLs. Thus the aim of this paper is to cover the existing knowledge gap and to compile a baseline assessment on the frequency of use, user confidence and user awareness when utilizing short URLs. To do so, we have developed questionnaire connected to the previously mentioned aspects and which was applied to one hundred persons of various nationalities from within the European Union with various user experiences when it comes to the Internet and short URLs. The analysis of the replies received from the participants to the survey has revealed a general awareness that there are security risks associated with short URLs, a tendency of propagation of short URLs to other Internet services and platforms.
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
10.7763/JACN.2015.V3.169
Publication Status: 
Published
Publication Date: 
02/09/2015
Journal: 
Journal of Advances in Computer Networks
Volume: 
3
Institution: 
National University of Ireland, Dublin (UCD)
Open access repository: 
Yes
Publication document: