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Instant Messaging

Issues in instant messaging
  • Instant messaging networks provide the ability to not only transfer text messages, but also the transfer of files. Consequently, instant messengers can transfer worms and other viruses.
  • The number of instant messaging worms is rising steadily.
  • As the instant messaging clients allow peer-to-peer file sharing, a Trojan horse (back ground programs/ viruses) can configure the instant messaging client to share all files on the system with full access to everyone.
  • Hackers can impersonate other users in many different ways. The most frequently used attack is simply stealing the account information of an unsuspecting user.
Tips for Safer Instant Messaging
  • Be Careful when creating a screen name. Each IM program asks you to create a screen name, which is similar to an email address. Your screen name should not provide or allude to personal information. For example, use a nickname such as Bunny instead of Bobby.
  • Never provide sensitive personal information. For example credit card numbers or passwords, in an IM conversation
  • Create a barrier against unwanted instant messaging. Do not list your screen name or e-mail address in public areas (such as large Internet directories or online community profiles) or give them to strangers.
  • Only communicate with people who are on your contact or buddy lists. If you decide to meet a stranger that you know only from IM communication, take appropriate safety precautions. For example, do not meet that person alone, (take a friend or parent with you), and always meet and stay in a public place, such as a café.
  • Never open pictures, download files, or click links in messages from people you don’t know. If they come from someone you do know, confirm with the sender that the message (and its attachments) is trustworthy. If it’s not, close the instant message.
  • Don’t send personal or private instant messages at work. Your employer might have a right to view those messages.
  • If you use a public computer. Do not select the feature that allows you to log on automatically. People who use that computer after you may be able to see and use your screen name to log on.
  • Monitor and limit your children’s use of IM. When you’re not available to receive messages, be careful how you display this information to other users. For example, you might not want everyone on your contact list to know that you’re “Out to Dinner.” A hilarous statement y a flirt 2 his grlfrnd. 'I love u so much that i see ur face in other girls & so i cnt stop myslf frm luving them also