URLs can get pretty long, and sending a link that spans multiple lines can be very problematic on mobile, as well as on services like Twitter that limit the maximum number of characters per post. It’s understandable why URL shortening services have become so popular, but these links may also be concealing dangerous websites or malware.

Unshorten.link is a specialized service that verifies these URLs and takes you to a filtering page before actually opening them. The Chrome extension relies on the same service, allowing it to check every shortened link you click before opening it.

Here’s how it works: when you click any link created with Bit.ly, goo.gl or other such services, you are taken to an intermediary page where the landing link is displayed. If it’s something dangerous, you can avoid following it to keep your PC safe.

If you have subscribed to the Pro service, the extension can skip the filter page altogether if the link is detected to be safe. What’s more, it can even remember all the shortened URLs you have visited.

In addition to helping you check which websites you are visiting, the extension also removes tracking cookies automatically if they are detected. While these aren’t necessarily dangerous, they can expose you to advertisers and compromise your privacy.

Sometimes, even seeing the full URL isn’t enough to tell whether or not a website is dangerous. To help you out, the extension can grab a screenshot of the web page and display it in the filter page, making it easier to decide if you want to visit the website or steer clear.

While Unshorten.link only unleashes its full potential if you have subscribed to the service, it can prove handy even if you’re using the free edition. It can save your skin by revealing potentially dangerous websites hidden behind shortened URLs, and it is even capable of removing tracking cookies.