How to


How To Prove If 2 Files Are Identical (Windows, Mac & Linux)

Check for file verification between 2 files, no matter what operating system you are using.

When verifying if two files are identical, both must be the same, technically speaking, from the first byte to the last.

They can have different filenames, but they are duplicates of each other.

How do we prove that?

It is not practical to, for example, check all the contents of two lengthy Word documents or inspect every pixel for 2 similar file images.

How to know if two files are exactly the same file?

Here are the four (4) different ways to prove if two files are the same.

1. Using a Hashing Algorithm

The fastest and most accurate method is to check if two files are identical, have the same content, and replicate the other.

Legally speaking, in a court of law, the use of both MD5 and SHA-1 hashing algorithms are scientifically accepted and widely used to determine if two digital files are exactly the same.

Both hashes are cryptographic hash functions, using mathematics to generate a 128-bit string value (for MD5) or a 160-bit string value.

You can generate a hash value for any text or paragraph, any digital file, e.g. image, video or document, and even a transaction.

Below is an example of 2 similar images, using MD5 hashes to prove if they are the same file.

MD5 = 1CE434071294B9E7AEC68CA5191E2F87
MD5 = 1CE434071294B9E7AEC68CA5191E2F87

Both hash values are the same; therefore, both images are duplicate files without any differences or modifications.

Using Windows PowerShell – (for Windows)

Using the Windows PowerShell command-line quickly without installing any additional tools since it is already in-built into the operating system.

Type “Powershell” into the Windows Search bar and open it.

Copy and paste the following code into the command prompt, changing the file path (highlighted in blue).

if((Get-FileHash "path-to-fileA").hash -eq (Get-FileHash "path-to-fileB").hash) {"Both Files Are Identical"} else {"Both Files Are NOT Identical"}

Change the “path-to-FileA” and “path-to-FileB” accordingly to the 2 files you want to test.


When 2 files are identical, the output will be “Both Files Are EXACTLY THE SAME”

Using HashMyFiles – (for Windows)


HashMyFiles is a small utility tool that requires no installation (drag & drop files) and supports up to Windows 10.

It can calculate both MD5 and SHA-1 hash values.

Using Mac Terminal – (for Mac users)

Open Terminal and enter this simple command below (changing the 2 files to your own).

md5 FileA.jpg FileB.jpg

When both file hashes match, they are exactly the same file.

You can also calculate the SHA-1 hash using;

shasum -a 1 FileA FileB

Using Linux Shell – (for Linux users)

Open Terminal and enter this short command, pointing to your file, to generate your MD5 hash value.

md5sum filename.jpg

2. Using the Microsoft Word application

Compare feature

Use this method if you want to compare 2 different Word documents.

Regardless of the operating system, you are using, the Microsoft Office Word application itself has a “Compare” feature we can use.

Note: this method is only used to compare the contents of both files and not to prove if they are the exact replicate of each other (exact bit-by-bit).

1) Open Word application,
2) Click on the “Review” tab,
3) Go to the “Compare” dropdown menu,
4) Choose “Compare Documents” and select the 2 Word Documents you want to verify.

When both files are the same, MS word will return a message box like this (below).


3. Using the Notepad++ application

Compare plugin

Use this method to compare 2 text files, source files, log files and SQL databases.

Notepad++ is a windows-only application that many programmers use to perform source-code editing.

It is a reliable replacement for the native Notepad application in Windows operating system.

Note: Similar to the MS Word method above, Notepad++ allows for comparing the contents of both files.

1) Open the Notepad++ application
2) Go to [Plugins] – [Plugin Manager] – [Show Plugin Manager]
3) Select the [Compare] plugin and click [Install]

Now, open the 2 files separately in 2 different Notepad++ applications.

From the [Plugins] menu, select [Compare] and again, select [Compare]

You can now see both files side-by-side, and if you notice any yellow highlight portion, these are the content differences between both files.

4. Using Online Tools

If the files or content you want to verify are not sensitive, you can opt to use these online services to check their authenticity.



DiffChecker allows for comparing text, images, PDF, Excel and even folders.

It is also available as a desktop app for Windows, Mac and Linux.


Like DiffChecker, you can copy the entire text content from 2 different files and paste it on Copyleaks for comparison to see if they are identical.

You can also upload the files or provide the URL address for Copyleaks to check.


OnlineMD5 is a simple online service that generates MD5 and SHA-1 hash values.

You can paste your text content or easily upload a file for quick hash computation.

The maximum upload file size is 4GB.

With that, you could even hash an entire ISO image or even a video file.


To prove if 2 digital files are the exact copy of each other, always use a cryptographic hash like MD5 and SHA-1. It is the most accurate way to prove the authenticity of two digital files.

MD5 & SHA-1 hash algorithms are often used in a court of law to verify digital files.

To compare only the contents of two files, use the rest of the methods stated in this article.

Consider using any of the online hashing services mentioned above when the files & contents are not sensitive to you.


7 Ways to View Image EXIF Metadata [Android, iOS, macOS, PC]

The best way to view photo image EXIF data is via specialized image analysis tools or digital forensics software, as they preserve the metadata while displaying all the hidden information, such as GPS location coordinates and file timestamps.

How to Accurately View EXIF Metadata of a Photo Image?

Here are the seven (7) EXIF data analysis and forensic tools you can use to view image metadata correctly.

1. ExifTool by Phil Harvey

Lightweight and Powerful


ExifTool by Phil Harvey is a popular lightweight command line tool used by many forensic examiners and researchers.

You can view, edit and remove all metadata from images, videos and standard file documents, such as Word, Excel and PDFs.

For Windows users, drag and drop the file into the ExifTool application, and your command line application will automatically open (see the example above) and display all its metadata values.

For macOS and Linux users, after installation, type the following (replace <filename> with your target file)

ExifTool <filename>

Operating Systems: Windows (standalone), macOS and Linux

If you want all the powerful features of ExifTool yet have a graphical user interface, try ExifToolGUI, which is the skin for ExifTool.

2. IrfanView

Swiss-army style – All Image Viewer


Since 1996, IrfanView has been a pioneer in opening user image files. In addition, it is the first to have animated GIF support and Multipage TIF support.

Besides having a powerful all-in-one image viewer that supports many different formats, users can install the additional plugin to have features such as metadata tools, effects, icons and many more.

Some of the IrfanView features include;

  • Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen
  • Batch conversion (with advanced image processing of all files)
  • Lossless JPG rotation, crop and EXIF date change
  • Multipage TIF editing
  • IPTC editing
  • Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs

Operating Systems: Windows only

3. FotoForensics

Online service for professional investigators and researchers


If you are comfortable uploading your image online (not sensitive/important) material, you should try FotoForensics.

The free online image analysis service supports most image formats, e.g. JPEG, PNG, WebP, HEIC and AVIF. In addition, it displays a wide array of metadata information views, such as Digest Analysis (hash values), Hidden Pixels, Strings and ICC+.

Operating Systems: Online service (Works with any device and operating systems)

4. Amped Authenticate


Amped Authenticate is a commercial photo analysis and tampering detection software used commonly by law enforcement agencies.

Besides displaying complete EXIF data, the forensic image analysis tool can also detect tampered areas in images and determine the authenticity of photos and documents.

Amped Authenticate provides a robust set of tools for determining whether an image is an unaltered original, was created on a particular device or is the result of tampering with photo-editing software, which is essential for evidence admissibility.

Operating Systems: Windows only

5. Exif Metadata Editor Tool for iOS


Exif Metadata Editor Tool is a free App Store application that allows iOS users to view and edit EXIF data.

You can easily edit EXIF data from images found in your Gallery album, and edit GPS location coordinates values (longitudes and latitudes).

The metadata editor tool also has a batch mode that allows users to edit multiple files simultaneously, which is a faster and more efficient way of editing EXIF and GPS data.

Operating Systems: iOS (iPhone, iPad)

6. EXIF Pro – ExifTool for Android


EXIF PRO is a mobile app that extends the functionality of Phil Harvey’s ExifTool to the Android platform.

It supports editing multiple files at the same time. You can view and modify Exif, XMP, IPTC and other metadata of files (including images, audio and videos such as JPG, GIF, PNG, OGG and MP3)

The app supports several languages, such as English, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, etc

Operating Systems: Android

7. Forensically


Forensically is an online digital image forensics tool comprising multiple tools, such as clone detection, error level analysis, EXIF metadata extraction, etc.

The online image analysis service has an offline mode enabled to use it with no internet connectivity.

Some of the features include;

  • Enhancement – Histogram Equalization, Auto Contrast and Auto Contrast by Channel
  • Clone Detection – Minimal Similarity, Cluster size, Minimal detail, etc
  • Error Level Analysis – compares the original image to a recompressed version and makes manipulated regions stand out
  • Luminance Gradient – analyses the changes in brightness along the x and y-axis of the image

Operating Systems: Online service (Works with any device and operating systems)


3 Ways to Add a Home Button to your Opera Browser Toolbar

When using the default Opera web browser, there is no Home button you can use to enable or configure for your preferred homepage.

The only way to display a Home button is to manually install browser extensions or use the built-in Speed Dial feature.

This post will show you the different ways you can use to set a Home button for your Opera web browser.

How to Add a Home Button in Opera Web Browser?

Here are the three (3) methods you can use to display a Home Button on the Opera browser.

Method 1. Install [Home Button At Top Right] extension


This browser extension will add and display a home button on the top right of your Opera web browser.

The home button will link to the home page URL address you specify.

Install the Opera extension and click on the Extensions icon in the browser’s top-right corner.


PIN the extension <Home Button At Top Right> so that the home button can be added to your Opera browser.


After that, click on the Options (three (3) dots on the right).


Input your desired home page URL address and click <Save>.


You will now have a home button on our Opera web browser that will bring you to the URL address you previously specified.

Tip: You can long-press the home button to move its position around the browser menu bar.

Method 2. Install [Custom Shortcut Button] extension

This method allows you to visit your homepage whenever you open a new tab on your Opera browser.

The browser extension is called Custom Shortcut Button.

Install the Opera extension, and the extension button (green colour icon) will appear on your menu bar.

Right-click on the green icon and select <Options>.


Input your desired homepage URL address and click <Save>.


Now, pressing the green icon button on your menu bar will bring you to your homepage.

Method 3. Using the built-in Speed Dial feature

Also referred to as “Start Page”, Speed Dial is a built-in feature of the Opera web browser.

Speed Dial is a single-page layout in Opera where you can display all your favourite websites for quick access.

You can use Speed Dial to add your homepage URL address.

To do so, open Opera browser and click on the Speed Dial button (four squares icons).


Click <Add a Site>.

Input your desired URL address and click <Add to Opera>.


Your URL homepage will appear on your Speed Dial page.


You can add as many sites as you want on this page.

Whenever you want to access your homepage, click on the Speed Dial button and click on the site name you want.


3 Ways to Track Users’ IP address on Whatsapp, Telegram, etc

Getting someone else’s IP address on the Internet requires the person to take a specific action, typically by clicking on a link or viewing an email or website.

This post will show you how to track someone else’s IP address on the Internet, regardless they are on Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook, TikTok or online forums.

How to Track Someone’s IP address Online?

Here are the three (3) different ways to log someone’s IP address on the Internet.

Method 1. Tracking via sending a URL link

Action: The target/s need to click on the link for their IP address/s to be logged.

You can use this method to send a unique URL tracking link anywhere on the Internet, particularly useful when posting on chat apps (e.g. Telegram, Whatsapp, Signal), social media apps (e.g. Facebook, TikTok) and online communities (e.g. forums).

You can use any image link or even a Google Docs link.

If you want to use your own image, you can upload them first in ImgBB and copy the URL link.

Step 1: Go to the Grabify IP Logger homepage, paste your URL link and click <Create URL>.


Your unique tracking link will be created and ready for you to use on Telegram, Whatsapp, and other social media platforms.

New URL = Your unique tracking link to send to others (shown below in red arrow)

Access Link = Your tracking page for IP addresses


Once your target or anyone clicks on your unique link, you can see it under your Access Link.

An example of a captured IP address by someone who clicks on the Grabify link (shown below)


Grabify displays information such as the date/time, IP address, country, the User Agent (device & web browser), ISP, etc.

Method 2. Tracking via your blog or your website

Action: Your target/s must visit your blog or website for their IP address to be logged.

If you own a blog or a website, you can use this method to track your web visitors or make someone visit a particular webpage or blog page.

For WordPress sites, you can install Visitor IP Tracker free plugin to track visitors’ IP addresses with email alerts set up.


The main features include the following:

  • Website Visitor GEO IP Tracking
  • Visitor IP email alerts
  • Visitor IP Changes Tracking and Computer ID Tracking
  • Visitor IP Blocking and Advanced Website Analytics

Method 3. Tracking via installing a phone monitoring app

Action: You must physically install the monitor app on the target’s phone.


Also known as a cell phone tracker, a phone monitoring app is the best way to track someone’s IP address, even if it changes from time to time. You can monitor the target/s over a long period.

The only caveat is that you need to install it physically on the target’s phone. However, if this is possible for your situation, this method is the best.

MSpy is one of the most reviewed and popular monitoring apps supporting Android and iOS devices.

Once installed, here are some of the main features you can do;

  • Monitor every keystroke and every app in real-time
  • Read their social media chats
  • See past and current locations
  • View call logs and media files


How to Play Video Stream using URL address [.m3u8 extension]

You encounter a video streaming URL address that ends with a .m3u8 extension and wonder which media/video player you should use.

Examples of URL addresses ending with .m3u8 are;

Some video streaming URL addresses have an index.m3u8 extension instead.

Usually, URL addresses ending with .m3u8 extension are likely to be a live video stream, such as streaming a live sports event or broadcasting a live TV channel.

Here is the summary of the media/video player you can use, depending on your operating system.

S/noName of Media PlayerPlatform
1QuickTimeWindows and macOS
2Video Player All Format (XPlayer)Android
3X Player – Mobile Video PlayeriOS

This article will show you how to add your URL address to these video players so that you can watch your video streams online.

How to Play Video using URL address ending with .M3U8 extension

Here are the three (3) video players you can play on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS devices.

Method 1. QuickTime


QuickTime is a media player developed by Apple and is supported by both Windows and macOS operating systems.

Once installed, open the QuickTime player.

Select <File> and <Open location>.


Paste your URL address as shown above and click <Open>.

Your video stream will start playing once it has done buffering.

Method 2. Video Player All Format (XPlayer)


Commonly known as XPlayer, this Android video player can play network streams by adding URLs to it.

After installing Video Player All Format from the Google Play Store, open it and click on the menu button (3 dots) on the top-right of the screen.

Click <Select>.


The video player will prompt you to enter your network URL.

Copy and paste your URL link here.


Click <OK>, and your video stream will start once it has buffered a portion of it.

Method 3. X Player – Mobile Video Player

Like the XPlayer for Android devices, X Player for iOS plays video streaming URL addresses ending with the .m3u8 extension.

Download X Player from the Apple App Store and open it.

You will see four (4) bottom tabs, namely <Playlist>, <Transmit>, <Files> and <More>.

Select the <Files> tab.


Click on <Play URL>

Copy and paste your video stream URL address and click <Enter> on your keyboard.


Your video stream will start playing once it has buffered the content.


3 Methods to Acquire Forensic Images Using the Command Line

In digital forensics, you can use the command line to acquire forensic evidence images in several formats, such as the Expert Witness Format (EWF) files, the EnCase Evidence Files E01, dd (RAW), SMART and AFF.

This article will show you how to use the command line in Windows, Mac and Linux to acquire forensic images.

How to Acquire Forensic Images in E01 and dd formats using the Command Line?

Here are the three (3) different ways you can use the command line to perform forensic image acquisition.

Method 1. Acquire E01 format using the command line

Using Linux and Mac, you need to install the libewf and ewf-tools to acquire E01 evidence files.

Type the following to install from APT;

sudo apt install libewf-dev ewf-tools

Begin E01 acquisition

Once installed, you can acquire a disk image in E01 format using the following command;

sudo ewfacquire -t /Cases/001/001_2022_USB_folder /dev/sdc
  • -t option here allows us to specify a destination folder.
  • /Cases/001/001_2022_USB_folder refers to our destination folder where we store our E01 evidence files.
  • /dev/sdc refers to the target disk we want to acquire.

Change all the options and parameters according.

Once you hit <Enter>, you may be asked additional questions like inputting a case number and specifying a segment size for each evidence file.

You can use S 4G to have the segment size of the evidence size to be 4 gigabytes per file.

Verify E01 acquisition

Verifying your E01 is essential to ensure that you got the forensic imaging process done correctly.

The acquisition hash must match the verification hash. Both hash values must be the same.

This can be checked using the following command.

ewfinfo /Cases/001/001_2022_USB_folder.E01
ewfverify /Cases/001/001_2022_USB_folder.E01

You must point to the first E01 file, which will automatically verify the subsequent evidence files.

Method 2. Acquire dd (RAW) format using the command line

Using Linux and Mac, you can acquire the raw dd image format.

Note that this raw image does not require additional installation as it is built-in onto Linux and Mac operating systems.

Begin dd (RAW) acquisition

Login to the Terminal as a root user, type the following and key in your user password;

sudo su

Before you acquire any drives, always list the drives using this command;

df- h

As the dd (raw) format does not contain any computation hash in its header, it is important that you need to hash the drive first, so you can verify it after the forensic image is done.

md5sum /dev/sdb1  > /media/originalMD5

Start the forensic acquisition process

dd if=/dev/sdb1 of=/media/diskImage.img bs=1k
  • if refers to the input file. This is the target disk
  • of refers to the output file. This is your destination drive/folder
  • bs refers to block size. You can leave it as 1K default.

Verify dd (RAW) acquisition

Once the acquisition is completed, verify your forensic evidence file by hashing it again to ensure it matches the original hash.

md5sum /media/diskImage.img  > /media/verificationMD5

Method 3. Acquire RAW, SMART, E01 and AFF formats using FTK Imager Command Line

Using Windows, you can use the FTK Imager command line version, a popular forensic image acquisition tool to acquire forensic images.

The command line imager can be run on an external USB flash drive and plugged into the target machine.

Type the following to see the Help manual.

ftk imager --help

Begin forensic acquisition

Before you acquire any drives, always list all the attached physical drives in the target machine first. Use the following command;

ftkimager --list-drives

Begin forensic acquisition using;

ftkimager.exe C:/ F:\path\to\destinationfile\image001 --e01
  • C:/ is the target disk you want to image
  • F:\path\to\destinationfile\image001 is the destination drive/folder you want to image onto
  • -e01 is the E01 evidence file format you want as the output. You can change this into dd, SMART or AFF.

Verify forensic acquisition

Verify the forensic evidence files using the following;

ftkimager --verify F:\path\to\destinationfile\image001

Once completed, you will get the message that says, “Image verification complete”

Make sure that the computed hash and the verification hash match.


How to Make Android Run Smoother [Speed Up Animation Scale]

One of the easiest and fastest ways to tweak your Android device to make it run faster and operate smoother is by modifying your Animation Scale settings under Developer Options mode.

Doing so will affect the speed of transitions and animation on your device, and you will experience a boost in terms of performance.

Why adjust the Animation Scale in Android Settings?

Every time you open an app or switch between different apps, transitions and animations are played, and your device needs to process them constantly.

By reducing the speed of the animation, your Android device can run faster and perform operations smoother.

How to Speed Up Your Android by Modifying Animation Scale?

Here are the three (3) steps to do so.

Step 1. Enable Developer Options (hidden)


To enable the hidden Developer Options on your Android device, go to Settings > About Phone.

Tap on the <Build Number> several times until it says Developer options have now been enabled.

To access the Developer Options, go to Settings > System, and you will see it there. Alternatively, you can do a search on the Settings page using the word “developer” (see the image below).


Step 2. Scroll to the Drawing section


In Developer Options mode, scroll down until you see the Drawing section.

You need to adjust the scale speed for the following three (3) animation settings;

  • Window animation scale (default 1x)
  • Transition animation scale (default 1x)
  • Animator duration scale (default 1x)

Their default speed is 1x, which is the normal animation speed for all Android devices.

Step 3. Reduce the Animation Speed


By reducing the animation speed by half, you can speed up all the transition effects on your phone, making it run smoother and faster.

Reduce all three (3) animation settings to .5x (which is half of 1x).

To do this, tap on each of them and choose <Animation scale .5x>.

Restart your phone, and you will experience a faster and smoother Android device.


Speeding up Android animations will make your device run faster and have a smoother operating system experience.

If you want to go further, you can choose <Animation off>. This will speed up the transitions and animations the fastest. Depending on your device, some have reported a loss of smoothness in the operating system. Of course, you can always test the speed scale to your preference.

If any changes made in Developer Options are causing some problems, you can always revert back by resetting all changes or simply turning Developer Options mode off.


How to Download and Export YouTube Watch History [and More]

When watching YouTube videos, your watch history is, by default, stored in your Google account (unless otherwise excluded by you via Settings). In addition, you can download and export your YouTube activities to an offline HTML or JSON file format.

You will only have watch history if you are logged in using your Google account (Gmail) while watching YouTube videos.

How to export YouTube Watch History?

Here are the two (2) different ways you can use to export your YouTube watch history.

1. Export via Google Takeout

Google Takeout is a feature from Google that allows users to export their information when it comes to using Google’s services, such as YouTube, Chrome web browser, Google Maps, etc.

For YouTube, you can have the option to export all or selected YouTube data, such as comments, likes, subscriptions, and many more.

To download your YouTube data using Google Takeout, follow the steps below.

  • Ensure you are logged into your YouTube account and go to the Google Takeout page.
  • Scroll down the list and select <YouTube and YouTube Music>

There are some optional export configurations you can make here.

  • You can choose your export output as HTML or JSON format under the <Mutiple formats> setting.
  • You can exclude most YouTube data, such as subscriptions, playlists, etc. and include only the history. This can be found in the <All YouTube data included> setting.
  • Click <Next step> and choose <Send downlink link via email>.
  • Click <Create Report>. You will receive the download link in your Gmail inbox (check your Spam) and on the actual Google Takeout webpage.

You have now successfully downloaded your YouTube watch history (and any other Google data you have selected) offline in HTML or JSON format.

2. Export via YouTube History Page

YouTube provides a single webpage called “History Page” that displays the list of your watched history. You can export this page.

To access it, follow the steps below.


Go to the YouTube homepage and ensure you are logged in to your Google account.

On the left pane, click on <History> to display your list of previously watched videos.

Now click on <Manage all history> on the right pane.


You will now see the <Youtube History> page.

To export the list of watched videos, you can right-click anywhere on the page and choose;

  • Select <Print> and save as PDF document format or
  • Save as Webpage Complete as HTML webpage format.


7 Ways to Safely Reveal URL Shortener Links BEFORE Clicking

Before you click on a URL shortener link, you need to check and expand it to show you the original URL address. It would be best if you transformed the short URL to show you its real destination URL address and ensure that the webpage is safe to visit.

This article will focus on all the proven and tested methods to reveal a URL shortener link to its correct URL address.

How to Un-Shorten and Reveal the Actual URL from a URL Shortener Link?

Here are seven (7) different ways you can use to check.


When using, you can have a big snapshot of the destination URL homepage, the destination domain and, of course, the actual destination URL.

The snapshot helps get a glimpse of the website you intend to click on and is clear enough to read some of the content there.

The site supports revealing URL links from URL shorteners such as (Facebook), (Twitter),, TinyURL, and others.

You can even use their API to un-shorten various URLs in XML, JSON or simple RAW format.

2. Link UnShortener


Not only does LinkUnShortener shows you the destination URL, but you can also check if the destination URL is safe to visit through its security checks.

When you expand the URL, you will get the following details;

  • The site info – typically the title of the page (if any)
  • Domain Info – WHOIS information such as the owner of the domain, the domain registrar, the creation and the expiration of the domain name
  • Security Checks – Check the reputation and security of the destination URL

There are links to VirusTotal, SSL Checker, Web of Trust and many others for security checks that you can use to check destination URLs’ safety and security.

3. CheckShortURL


CheckShortURL provides a screenshot of the destination URL page, the actual URL and the followingvaluablel details;

  • Title of the page
  • Description of the page (as per shown on search engines)
  • Author of the page
  • Security checks on Web of Trust, SiteAdvisor, Norton and others.


4. URL Expander


URL Expander is useful when you have a batch of URL link shorteners to un-shorten.

You can instantly input a batch of URLs (limited to 100 requests per day) and see the page’s destination URLs (results), or you can download the results as a CSV file format.

To go over 100 requests, you will have to use the paid version. API access is also available for paid users.

URL Expander supports almost all URL shortening services:,,,,, and many more.

5. WhereGoes


WhereGoes provides the free service using a URL Redirect Checker that follows the path of a URL link shortener to enable troubleshooting of link issues and perform internet marketing intelligence.

Besides revealing and showing you the destination URL, you can see all the links being redirected through, for example, PHP redirects, htaccess redirects, NGINX redirects and JavaScript redirects, before reaching the destination URL.

6. UnShorten.It

UnShorten.It is a straightforward free online service that reveals andun-shortensn the URL link shorteners you have by showing you the destination URL and providing you with safety ratings on the URL page.

You can get the safety ratings in terms of Trustworthiness and Child Safety. This is provided by the Web of Trust community.

7. Preview Mode


Some URL shorteners come with a built-in preview feature that gives users a sneak preview of the actual URL before clicking on it.

For TinyURL, you can add the word “preview.” in front. See the example below.

For Bitly, you can add the plus “+” sign at the end of the URL. See the example below.


7 Ways to Tell If Someone had Copied Files On Your Computer

You suspect someone has accessed and checked on your laptop or desktop computer and probably copied files from it. You want to prove if your files are actually copied and if tracing of the person involved is possible.

This article will list down all the ways, signs and evidence to determine if your files are being copied.

How to Tell that Someone had Copied Files on Your Computer?

Here are the seven (7) tell-tale signs to tell (and prove) that someone has copied files on your computer.

1. Check the history list of attached USB devices


Whenever a USB device is plugged into a computer, the Windows operating system keeps a list of USB device history. These can be USB flash drives, USB portable hard drives, memory cards using USB adapters, etc.

This method is frequently used in the field of digital forensics by examiners who need to prove the existence of a particular device, as it can show the unique serial number of the USB device attached.

USB Detective is a digital forensics software tool that extracts USB device information, such as serial numbers, last connected timestamp, first connected timestamp, etc.

You should download the USB Detective Community version, which is free to use, and you can export the findings in an Excel format.

2. Check the Timestamp of the File


If you suspect a particular file or files within a folder have been copied, you can check the file’s properties, especially on the <Date Created> and the <Date Accessed> attribute values.

To check, right-click on the file and select <Properties>.

<Date Created> attribute can prove that a file is newly copied or created on the computer. <Date Accessed> attribute can prove that someone had opened a file previously.

You should be looking for files that had been accessed or created in the time frame that you are not using the computer.

3. Check Recent Files


Windows keep a history of recently-accessed files in the Windows menu for convenience when we need to open them again.

This feature is useful and provides a quick glance if any files have been opened while you are away.

For Windows, press the keyboard “Windows + R” to open the Run dialog box and type in “recent“.

A folder will appear to show you a list of all your recent files.

For Mac, it is called <Recents>. You can find them in your Finder app and on the left-hand pane.

4. Check the CCTV camera


Is this a residential home or a workplace environment? Does it have a CCTV camera looking at the angle of your computer?

Looking through the video footage is a sure way of identifying the person who had physical access to your computer and copied your files.

Be wary that CCTV footage recordings usually do not store for long due to overwriting and storage capacity constraints. So go in and retrieve the videos at the earliest time possible.

5. Check the Movement of Peripherals


Sometimes the most obvious signs can be where your keyboard, mouse and monitor screen are shifted.

The person may accidentally move/shift your keyboard or any other peripherals while copying files at your computer.

If you have a keen eye for where you usually place your hardware, you may notice it immediately.

6. Check Keylogger Logs


If you had previously installed a keylogger on your own computer, you could now check your logs to see all activity records, including the file copied activity.

A keylogger is commonly installed on someone’s computer to monitor keystrokes, folder access and visited websites.

But you can also install a keylogger on your own computer if you suspect someone is frequently accessing and copying your files.

You can use a keylogger like Refog to monitor all activities on your computer, take periodic snapshots, and send the images to your email address.

7. Check Audit Logs


This method requires you to check audit activity logs, and it only applies if you have previously installed and configured auditing software on your computer, probably on a company’s server.

If you have not done so, you can refer to this setup guide to enable the File and Folder Access Auditing feature in Windows Server configurations, for file copied activities.

You can also try Filesure for Windows to track who and which system process is accessing your files and what they are doing with them.