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About Shortened URLs

Shortened URLs, such as those created by websites like,, and, can help simplify long and complex URLs, but also may make it difficult to tell if a shortened URL is sending you to a malicious site. 

Berkeley Lab uses to shorten URLs. Users have to login with their LDAP to create a shortened URL, and the Lab has visibility into all shortened URLs created. You can customize the shortened URL (as an example is IT Policy's shortened URL for our CUI account onboarding survey), and send users to any website (although most are Lab internal or DOE websites). 

Some social media websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter/X) forcibly shorten URLs shared on their websites using their own shorteners. If you have a business need to use these websites (e.g. external communications for official Lab business), you can use these URL shorteners.

In other circumstances, if you want to shorten URLs, you are required to use If you have any questions about this policy, please reach out to [email protected]. 

Shortened URL Best Practices

For Lab Users
  • Be aware: Hackers often utilize shortened URLs as part of phishing attacks to obfuscate malicious links.
  • Exercise caution when clicking on shortened URLs: Check the full URL when possible so you know where the shortened link is sending you. If the website looks malicious, don’t click on it.
  • Use a URL checker: If the shortened URL doesn’t have a preview feature, use a URL checker to see the full URL. Examples of URL checkers include:
For Lab Shortened URL Creators
  • Use Lab policy requires the use of when shortening URLs. If you have a business need to utilize a different service, please reach out to [email protected].
  • Consider alternatives to shortened URLs: If sharing electronically (e.g. via email, Google Doc), you can link to the full URL rather than use a shortened URL.
  • Be clear about the destination URL: If you are sharing a shortened URL, provide context and an explanation of where the link will take the user.
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