Using Instant Messaging Safely

In the world of interconnected computers, the use of instant messaging programs such as AOL Instant Messenger, MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Yahoo! Messenger is not without hazard. The biggest risks:

  • Viruses, worms, and Trojan horses

  • Unsolicited and unwanted incoming messages, or spim

Although some pundits and some companies that sell security software have hyped the risks of instant messaging, much of it is just that: hyperbole. Nonetheless, 2005 has seen a marked increase in the number of attacks carried out through IM software.

Instant messaging exploits rely primarily on unguarded users, rather than inherent vulnerabilities in instant messaging programs. IM-related problems don't require purchasing and using ...

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