Do you get frustrated sending huge links to people only to find out that they don't work because it got cut due to text wrapping :( ? Well, URL "shortners" are the thing you should be looking for. These websites claim to make the url small so that you can have a customized url and don't have to send the whole long thing to your friends. So, services like "bit.ly", "tr.im" and "notlong.com" are a lot popular with social networking sites such as twitter where there is a character limit to what you can post. The best part is - its free !
So what's the big deal you may say. The thing is that the way these URL shortening services work is by redirection and this conceals the URL of the actual website you are landing on to. So, someone could send you a link that says "tinyurl.com/bunchofflowers" and actually send you to "www.evilperson.com/go/down/the/drain/looser.html?format=1". Security is a big concern here and before you know it, you may get redirected to a website that hosts some browser exploit to download malware on your system.
Moreover the reliability is also a issue. For the link to work, now the destination webserver as well as the re-director should be up and running. With these services being given out for free I can imagine the kind of load these servers must be receiving. Bit.ly CEO claims they receive 100 million hits per week** !!! :o
Solution ? - "For every new invention, there is a equal and opposite invention".. welcome "http://longurl.org/". It will expand and show you every small url that you type in - Smart eh ?! ;) So, next time you receive such shortened links use this website and be sure that you are getting redirected to the correct website.
** Ref: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hAbmy1E7zWJIkAp74Nt0LFzP5KtQD98HBJJG3