Time to Switch Link Shortening Services: Google Marks Bit.ly links as Malware

Stop Using Bit.ly Now: Google and Firefox marking Bit.ly links as Malware

It has come to our attention that Google went ahead and marked one of the world’s most popular link shortening services Bit.ly as malicious. Thus making every shortened link malicious, including every link we’ve been sharing through buffer. We’ve switched services and recommend you do the same and take steps to repair your reputation in the interim.

How This Affects You

If you’re using Bit.ly to shorten your links, visitors to your content are likely welcomed with the following message:

“The site ahead contains malware”

Every link shortened with Bit.ly, that is visited using Google chrome or Mozilla Firefox, warns the visitor of malware. So if you clicked one of our links lately, don’t worry – your device HAS NOT been exposed to any malicious code that we’re aware of.

Even the homepage of Bit.ly is marked as malicious by both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Apparently, services like Bit.ly are commonly used by spammers and cyber criminals to spread malware, scams, and malicious code.

So if you’re using an automated service to share Bit.ly shortened links for tweets and status updates, there’s a good chance your audience has dropped off. Hopefully you read this in time to switch services before too much damage is done to your credibility.

If anything changes to the status of Google’s decision, we’ll update this post. Currently, Google and Mozilla’s link shortening services seem to remain intact. Unfair practice or legitimate threat? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Alternatives to consider:

Goo.gl – Google’s link shortening service (there’s even a chrome extension for it)

Buff.ly – Buffer App’s link shortening service