FAQ

How to use Safe.mn

Safe.mn safe links

Safe.mn Tools & API

Privacy

How to use Safe.mn

Why do I need shorter URLs?

Some services, such as mobile SMS, Twitter, Facebook, limit the number of characters you can use in a message. Twitter is limited to 140 characters. If you want to add a web address to your message, it should be as small as possible. With Safe.mn, you can replace a long URL with a smaller one that will lead you to the same web address.

Short URL are also easier to remember. If you need to spell out a web address over the phone, you will have an easier time with a short URL.

How are visitors redirected to the final destination?

We ensure that all links are safe. All URLs that are shortened by Safe.mn are thoroughly tested to make sure visitors are not redirected to an unsafe website (see the list of tests for more details). We redirect the users in different ways depending on the status of the final destination:

1. The URL has been determined safe.
The visitor is redirected transparently to the final destination. Try http://safe.mn/1 for example.

2. The URL has been flagged as potentially unsafe.
A warning from Safe.mn is displayed to the user, with the reasons why we think the final destination is unsafe. The user has the choice to leave, or to click on a link to get to the final URL. See http://safe.mn/2 for such a warning.

3. The URL has not been fully tested.
If the URL points to a file that is very big, or very slow to download, we may not be able to fully inspect it. In this case, the user is warned that the final destination could not be fully verified. The user has the choice to leave, or to click on a link to get to the final URL. See http://safe.mn/6 for such a warning.

How does Safe.mn work with redirections?

Safe.mn follows all redirections and saves the final URL. For example, if http://www.mywebsite.com/ actually redirects to http://www.othersite.com/site.html, we use the final destination http://www.othersite.com/site.html. We check both addresses, but the short link will redirect to http://www.othersite.com/site.html.

This is done to ensure the security of the visitor: we make sure we test the page the user is finally redirected to.

Can I replace my tinyURL/bit.ly/other short URLs with Safe.mn short links?

Because we follow all redirections (see the previous question), you can use Safe.mn to replace existing short URLs and enjoy more safety and transparency. For example, http://tinyurl.com/b redirects to http://www.betshop.com/. If you shorten http://tinyurl.com/b, your new Safe.mn short link will redirect directly to http://www.betshop.com/, bypassing tinyurl.com.

Top

Safe.mn secure links

Why do I and my visitors need secure short links?

Short links are becoming the preferred vector to spread spam, malware, phishing attacks, etc. The main reason is that the visitor does not see the final URL when it clicks on a short link. That is why Safe.mn does extensive checks for you and your visitors. Security with URL shorteners is a very hot topic these days: The Security Implications of URL Shortening Services, Why URL shorteners suck, URL shorteners: handy but risky, etc.

What tests are done?

All links are checked for:

  • Phishing
  • Malicious content
  • Adware, Viruses, Malware, etc.
  • Questionable content: sex, gambling, violence, hate speech, weapons, illegal file download
  • Dangerous ActiveX
  • Dangerous file type
  • Cross-site scripting attacks (XSS)
  • Session stealing

All links are checked again every 6 hours.

Can you detail each security test?

Coming soon...

How do you make sure Safe.mn links will always be available?

We maintain a public list of all the URLs shortened by Safe.mn. Anybody can get it, and make a public image of it. This guarantees your Safe.mn links can always be converted to the original URL. Get it at http://safe.mn/static/safemn.zip

Top

Safe.mn Tools & API

Can I generate Safe.mn short links from my browser?

Drag this button to your bookmarks to shorten URLs from any page:
Shorten with Safe.mn

See more details in the Tools section

Can I generate Safe.mn short links from my web site?

See the Tools & API sections for examples on how to make short safe links from your website.

Can I generate Safe.mn short links from my application?

See the Tools & API sections for all details on the Safe.mn API.

Can I generate Safe.mn short links from my Google home page, my Yahoo Home page or my Facebook profile?

See the Tools sections for more details.

Top

Privacy

What is your privacy policy?

We take your privacy very seriously. We collect the following information about our web visitors: Country of origin, type of browser, and page visited. The information cannot be used to track individuals. In order to get the country of origin of the visitors, we collect the IP address, and may need to store it temporary. The IP address is not stored for a long period of time, and it is never shared.

Under what license do you release your data?

All public data are released under the Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Is it unsafe to release publicly the list of shortened URLs?

All URL shortening services shorten URLs in the same way. Anybody can brute-force these services to get the complete list of shortened URLs. We simply provide an easy way to get this list.

Top