Microsoft: Stop Clicking, Now!

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Microsoft advises surfers to not click on links but type URLs in their browser address bar:

The most effective step that you can take to help protect yourself from malicious hyperlinks is not to click them. Rather, type the URL of your intended destination in the address bar yourself. By manually typing the URL in the address bar, you can verify the information that Internet Explorer uses to access the destination Web site. To do so, type the URL in the Address bar, and then press ENTER.

If you trust Microsoft's wisdom -- and why shouldn't you? -- then rather than click on the link above, you may want to take note of its very easy URL and type it in:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;%5Bln%5D;833786

Of course, you are web-savvy enough to parse such gibberish and understand that both % signs in the above URL are perfectly safe.

Sarcastic slashdotters have already noted that all this is the fault of those who use the proprietary attribute href. Conscientious webmasters take note and stop that bad practice, please.

Malicious webmasters, on the other hand, may want to take a look at hugeurl.com which is a handy service to turn simple URLs into really huge ones. For example, the huge URL to Microsoft.com is:

http://hugeurl.com/?YTEzOTE0Mjg2ZjcwZTEyNDhiM2FjZmJhMDQyMDFhMTUmMTImVm0w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You can type it in your browser, in its full glory. Or even copy-paste if you prefer.

Don't you feel perfectly safe now? Thanks Bill.