Sunday, June 29, 2008

Swyx adds business-class Instant Messaging to enhance inter-office communications.

INTERNATIONAL. Swyx a market-leading vendor of unified communications for SMEs has announced the addition of business-class IM (Instant Messaging) capabilities to its IP communications solution SwyxWare, giving organisations a controlled and secure environment for real-time interaction between colleagues.

Swyx’s Product Marketing Director Jayne Dimmick commented: “The introduction of IM as part of the central communications system means that organisations can give employees the advantages of using IM between colleagues, but without the dangers and lack of control posed by downloading and using third party packages.”

“Many organisations have banned the use of IM because of the associated security risks and also because it has been abused by staff for non-business purposes. By bringing IM within a controlled business environment, organisations can safely re-introduce a tool that can substantially improve productivity, especially within organisations that are spread across different locations. Used in conjunction with SwyxWare’s presence features, IM can also be a valuable tool for allowing remote workers to stay in touch and make known their availability to office-based counterparts.”

SwyxIt! Messenger can be easily activated via the SwyxIt! softphone and will automatically pop up when there is an incoming IM, enabling co-workers to send and receive instant messages or switch to other mediums using the ‘click to call’ or ‘click to email’ buttons. Available with SwyxWare 6.12, SwyxIt! Messenger is easy to install as a simple software update for existing SwyxWare users, and it is easy to roll-out because it shares the same user profile and therefore no additional third-party accounts need to be created.

For more information visit www.swyx.com

Source: BI-ME , Author: BI-ME staff

Interactive Networks announced a new version of its instant messaging application.

(openPR) - May 2008. Interactive Networks Inc. keeps improving the messaging experience introducing a new version for it secure instant messaging product. Its web-based, PC and mobile clients were developed to fully increase business productivity and improve internal communications.

On the one hand, this new version includes a wide range of improvements and brand new collaborative features that allows an integration to meet enterprises´ specific needs. In this way, companies can prevent their users from running public IMs (MSN ®, Gtalk®, AOL®, ICQ® & Yahoo®) and control who is allowed to communicate with them. Besides, it offers multi person chat with voice and video, centralized message archiving, send and receive SMS to/from mobile devices, integration with Active Directory, online presentations and computer sharing, among others. Finally, its web-based administration console permits complete control of the IM network in addition to new possibilities as custom defined management levels, create and modify users, enable or disable specific features and check monthly and daily new user registration statistics.

The company offers both a server and a hosted (ASP) model and four enterprise editions with different sets of features to adapt to the needs and budget of each organization. Pricing starts at $595 for 100-user Standard Edition Server or $1.25 per month per user for a Hosted Standard Edition solution.

“Nowadays, new generations who join the labor market perfectly know and master instant messaging. They usually chat with their friends from web-based, desktop or mobile clients, having a high knowledge of the features offered. This is why IM is a must have business tool in enterprises today”, said the company’s CEO, Pablo Salomon.

About Interactive Networks, Inc.

Based in Montevideo, Uruguay, Interactive Networks Inc. has been developing and selling innovative instant messaging solutions since 1999. The company specializes on secure private instant messaging solutions for enterprises, private label IM solutions for internet services and IM solutions for mobile operators.

Press release from: Interactive Networks, Inc.

Monday, June 23, 2008

AIM Express lets you use IM without installing a client.

Do you depend on Instant Messaging for communication like I do? Have you ever been caught out there without access to your Instant Messenger?

I know I have been! Your friendly neighborhood Admin has been on location where I did not have administrative access to the computer (imagine that!) nor could I plug in my laptop into their network and do what I needed to do. There have even been times I could not get a cell phone signal or anything on my WWAN card. Some places are actually secure and lock down everything. AOL has an option to forward your IM’s to your cell phone via SMS but without cell service this wouldn’t work either!

Security is one thing but limiting functionality is another. So there are ways around the limitations if you can freely browse the web. Let’s get you back to chatting cybering dumb quick.

I use AIM Express from AOL. If a computer has internet access, chances are you can run one of these lightweight in browser clients. To add some icing to the cake they have just released their newest beta version of AIM Express.

It runs on Adobe’s Flash now and is a lot smoother than previous versions. The client is compatible with Windows and Mac (I’m sure a resourceful young go-getter like yourself could MAKE it work on Linux!) Make sure your system meets these requirements. If it does not, don’t fret we have another option for you. Keep on reading!

System Requirements

Windows

* Windows 2000/NT/XP/Vista
* Flash player 9
* Javascript enabled browser
* Recommended browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and 7.0, Firefox 1.5 and higher, Safari 3.0

Mac OS X

* Flash player 9
* Javascript enabled browser
* Recommended browsers: Firefox 1.5 and higher, Safari 3.0
On a regular basis I use Digsby for my cross platform IM’ing needs but when I can’t use Digsby I run this flash based chat. It is really easy to use and as always it is free. All you need to do is browse on over to here and launch it. As long as you have flash installed on the machine you are good to go!

But just like I stated above there are ways to get this to work on a machine without Flash. In this situation you need an older version of AIM Express. The previous version is still available and will run on older setups or more locked down environments.

As you can see there are no system requirements and the Browser requirements are pretty easy to match on most systems.
Browser Requirements

To use the AIM Express service, be sure that your computer is running one of the following Web browsers:

* Internet Explorer 5.5 or later
* Firefox 1.0 and later
* Mozilla 1.4 or later
* Netscape 7.1 and later

Note: Web browsers must allow pop-ups from AIM.com in order for AIM Express to run properly.

If your system does not meet the requirements, you can still access an older version of AIM Express.

(By): Karl L. Gechlik is a superhero of the IT industry who wears many hats and changes in telephone booths. Karl mostly uses his powers for good and the occasional hysterical prank. Get your geek on & follow his geeky antics at askTheAdmin.com today.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Secure Instant Messaging

Everyone talks about protecting the corporation from intruders—including, perhaps, its own employees. But who's protecting your instant messages from snoops? Most companies tolerate some personal calls, e-mails, and IMs, as long as the privilege isn't abused. But don't forget—they can legally monitor conversations on their equipment, whether phone or computer. So not only are your e-mails fair game, but so are your IM sessions.

While we're sure your messages are entirely wholesome and aboveboard, we're equally sure there are some you'd rather not have bandied around the department or forwarded to everyone. Fortunately, you can secure your personal IM messages without too much difficulty. Bear in mind, however, that no encryption scheme prevents keystroke capturing or copying unencrypted text from the screen by spyware and monitoring software; the messages are encrypted only while in transit, on your network, or on the Internet.

AOL, Microsoft, and Yahoo! include encryption in the enterprise versions of their software, but the easiest way to encrypt personal IM sessions is to download IMSecure, from Zone Labs (www.zonelabs.com). The freeware version of this program will encrypt one IM account, and it also protects against buffer overflow IM exploits. AIM, MSN, or Yahoo! will all work with the freeware version. The Pro version encrypts multiple accounts and provides additional security features. Your correspondent must be running IMSecure as well; messages to recipients without the program are not encrypted.

IMSecure encrypts third-party, universal clients such as GAIM and Trillian, too. You can also find proprietary end-to-end encryption add-ons for MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger. These function like IMSecure, but only for one product.

Another route to securing IM is to get a digital certificate. A Class 1 or personal digital certificate is issued by a certificate authority, which maintains a unique public key for your identity. We tested VeriSign 's certificate system for AOL Instant Messenger, which costs $14.95 a year. The VeriSign solution is not actually integrated with AIM, but there are clear directions for acquiring and installing the certificate. You can also use the certificate to secure and encrypt e-mail.

You start by going to www.verisign.com/products/class1/aim/index.html. You can choose the 60-day free trial option or pay $14.95 a year with a credit card. After you fill out your name, billing information, and e-mail address, VeriSign sends an e-mail with a PIN number that allows you to pick up the digital certificate from its site with your browser. Once you have done so, your browser stores the ID. Next you export the ID to a file, following the instructions on VeriSign's site. You then import the certificate into AIM.

When you restart AIM, you will be asked for the security password, and AIM will start normally. Others who see your name on their buddy lists will see a lock icon next to your name, but there is no change in AIM's operation. When you initiate a session with another user who has a certificate, you will see a message at the bottom of the window that says "Encrypted conversation" and cites the user's name and certificate authority. If you use AIM from another machine, your buddies will not see the lock icon and messages will not be encrypted.

You can also get a free "personal e-mail certificate" from the VeriSign subsidiary Thawte (www.thawte.com/email/index.html). The certificate works with IM as well and interoperates with VeriSign certificates. To install and use it, follow the instructions on the AIM and VeriSign sites. MSN, Yahoo!, GAIM, and Trillian do not currently support Class 1 certificates.

Digital certificates use public-key encryption. Your public key is on the vendor's servers, and the other user's secure AIM session retrieves your key, encrypts the message, and sends it to you, where your session uses your stored private key to decrypt it. While publicly vetted encryption, as used by AIM, is generally preferable, the proprietary algorithms used by IMSecure and other add-ons are probably sufficient for most users' needs.

Author: Bill Machrone

Source: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,1579487,00.asp

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You’re About To Want Mobile Instant Messaging

Was there ever a time when you thought that you would never get interested in SMS text messaging? When SMS messages first became a service available on mobile phones, plenty of users thought that they’d never have any use for sending a message via text when they could simply dial the phone and call the intended recipient of the message. Over time, of course, we’ve come to realize the value of the text message as a supplement to the voice call and as such it has become a standard feature of the mobile phone plan that almost all mobile phone users make use of at least part of the time. That’s likely to be the same case with Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) which some people currently say that they aren’t going to be interested in but which is rapidly starting to emerge as the latest way to communicate from your cell phone.

Basics of Mobile Instant Messaging

Mobile Instant Messaging is a service which takes the traditional instant message features of the desktop and moves them to the mobile phone. It offers some of the great features available through SMS messaging along with some of the great features that people prefer from a traditional IM service. At its very basic level, it allows the mobile phone to function somewhat like a desktop in terms of how the instant messenger service is used. There are MIM services available for many of the major instant messaging platforms (such as Yahoo! Messenger) and we’re starting to see mobile-only instant message platforms enter the market.

Benefits of MIM as Compared to Basic IM

Mobile Instant Messaging offers the same general services as traditional IM but allows the user to use the service in any locations where they can get Wi-Fi access on their mobile phones. This means that the individual can start or continue online conversations even when he or she has to be away from the desktop computer. This can be useful to someone who is out and about around town as well as to someone who simply wants more flexibility with the IM service while doing chores around the house. The mobility of MIM is the reason that people may prefer it to basic instant messenger services.

Benefits of MIM as Compared to SMS

You might be wondering why you would bother to use MIM instead of using SMS messages. It’s true that the way that messages appear on the mobile phone screen is similar whether you are using MIM or SMS. However there are major differences in the use of MIM which can make it more appealing to some users. For one thing, you can use your online alias with MIM so you don’t have to actually give your phone number to the people who are interested in sending you messages. For people who engage in regular online chatting with strangers, MIM is a much safer option in regards to this privacy aspect.

The other major benefit to MIM as compared to SMS is that you can use the IM features to see whether or not someone is available to chat with you. If you’re just bored and trying to waste a little bit of time on your mobile phone, you want to chat with those friends who are immediately available. MIM will show you that availability in the same way that traditional IM would. In contrast, you can send an SMS message and it may not be received for hours if the person is unavailable or has their phone turned off.

Limitations of MIM

Although there are obvious benefits of MIM in comparison with desktop IM and SMS, there are certainly limitations of using this service. The main problem is that most mobile phones have bandwidth limitations that make it difficult to actively using MIM on a regular basis. As the technology for mobiles phones and mobile broadband improves, this limitation is being lifted. However it remains a barrier for many people today. There may also be a barrier related to cost as Wi-Fi based services like MIM currently cost more from most carriers than SMS plans. That, too, may change as more carriers take an interest in tapping into the developing MIM market.

The Emerging Market for MIM

According to recent statistics, only eight percent of worldwide mobile phone users are currently using MIM. Of those users who do take advantage of Mobile Instant Messaging, there is a forty percent drop in the use of text messaging. Put simply, most people aren’t using MIM yet but those who do use it seem to strongly prefer it to SMS messaging. This means that there is a huge untapped market of consumers who could take a strong interest in MIM in the near future and that interest could be to the detriment of the SMS market. This is an area of interest and concern to mobile phone marketing agencies as well as to phone carriers, both of which will have to adjust their tactics in order to target the emerging MIM market.

MIM and Mobile Social Networking

The biggest area of growth that is opening up for moving MIM forward in the market is the growth of mobile social networking sites. People are getting more and more used to being online and in communication with their social networks via their mobile phone. Whether they are using the mobile version of a site like Facebook or they are using a mobile-specific social networking site, these people are starting to take it for granted that the mobile phone is a tool for engaging in online social networking. These people will naturally take to the growth of MIM. Moreover, there are MIM businesses that are specifically targeting the social networking community through implementing MIM widgets on those sites.

Future of Mobile Instant Messaging

Mobile Instant Messaging is definitely poised for growth but it’s difficult to tell at this time whether that growth will come from developments in mobile services offered by existing IM platforms or if it will come from the efforts of those companies which are specifically interested in promoting MIM. The mobile web is truly an area where a lot of change is currently taking place and this is one area in which that change is going to be exhibited fairly rapidly. Before you know it, you’re going to be wondering how it was that you ever thought you could get by without Mobile Instant Messaging.

by Kathryn (http://www.dialaphone.co.uk/blog/?author=19)

Source:http://www.dialaphone.co.uk/blog/?p=1718

Monday, June 9, 2008

Secure instant messaging for the masses.

With the majority of the Democrats caving in to the Bush administration's demands for full immunity for the telecom companies for-profit collusion in the NSA's illegal wiretapping program, it seems to be clear that the Fourth Amendment and federal antiwiretapping laws are no longer enough to keep our communications secure. Laws stating that "thou shalt not listen to your customers phone calls" no longer seem to have any bite. Or at least, they don't as long as teleco lobbying coupled with massive political contributions can turn once critical senators into kindly old men willing to forgive and forget.

Thus, now that AT&T and Verizon are free to provide the NSA with a full copy of all Internet traffic that flows over their networks, I thought that perhaps it'd be a good idea to discuss proactive technical solutions that users can utilize to protect their own privacy. The primary focus of today's blog post is on one small area of user privacy, but one which is perhaps the least well known by the average joe, yet which is extremely vulnerable: instant messaging. The question to be answered today is: how can nontechnical users secure their own instant-messaging conversations such that an attacker is unable to listen in (be it the government or a nosy neighbor sniffing the wireless network from next door).

The major IM networks, which include AOL IM/iChat, MSN, and Google Talk (when using the gmail embedded chat function) all send data over the clear. Using IM over an unencrypted wireless network (such as at a coffee shop or hotel lobby) is an open invitation for nasty folks to read your conversations. Those people using the downloadable Google Talk client will at least have their conversations encrypted between their own computers and Google's servers - but that doesn't solve the problem of the NSA forcing/paying Google to hand over your data. Likewise, AOL confirmed in 2005 that if presented with a court order, it would let the government eavesdrop on IM conversations between customers.

The solution then, is to use an encrypted instant-messaging program--one made by a third party and not one of the major IM networks. That is, a software client with which the conversation is encrypted from one user's computer all the way to the recipient--and not just to the central servers of the IM network. While the popular Trillian multinetwork client does offer encryption, its design is flawed, and is subject to a number of attacks. The tool of choice for privacy-conscious geeks everwhere is a protocol known as Off The Record (OTR). This scheme, designed by a team of security researchers including professors Ian Goldberg and Nikita Borisov, provides a number of really cool features. The benefits of OTR include:

* Encryption: No one else can read your instant messages.
* Authentication: You are assured the correspondent is who you think it is.
* Deniability: The messages you send do not have digital signatures that are checkable by a third party. Anyone can forge messages after a conversation to make them look like they came from you. However, during a conversation, your correspondent is assured the messages he sees are authentic and unmodified.
* Perfect forward secrecy: If you lose control of your private keys (such as if your computer is hacked, for example), no previous conversation is compromised.

The OTR team don't actually produce its own instant-messaging client. Instead, they have released an open-source library that other IM programs can include--which hopefully means that as more and more clients adopt it, users will be able to conduct safe and encrypted conversations with people who use an IM program different than their own. Right now, the OTR team distribute a plugin for Pidgin, the popular multiplatform IM client. Adium, a popular IM client for Mac OS X, has OTR support built in. There are third-party plugins for the Kopete, Miranda and Trillian IM clients. Best of all: OTR is IM-protocol-independent. That is, once you have an OTR-enabled client installed, you can communicate with friends on different IM networks, be it AIM, Google Talk or others, as long as your friends also have OTR-friendly IM software.

Linux and Windows users are probably best off using the Pidgin IM client, which works with all of the popular IM networks and then installing the OTR plugin. For Linux users, it should be as simple as installing the Pidgin-OTR package with your respective package manager. Windows users will want to download the Pidgin-OTR plugin from the OTR Web site. Mac users: you're in luck. You can be lazy, and simply download Adium, which has OTR out of the box.

Once you have an OTR-enabled client installed, its as simple as clicking on the lock icon in any conversation window. You'll be asked to accept an encryption key the first time you chat--which you should verify with your pal by some form of non-IM conversation (the phone, in person, etc). After that, all future communications with that person should be encrypted without any more work. That's it. Secure communications, free from prying next-door neighbors or privacy-invading spooks.


Source:http://news.cnet.com/8301-13739_3-9797919-46.html

Posted by Chris Soghoian.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Users prefer e-mail to instant messaging and SMS, survey finds.

E-mail is the preferred communication medium of two-thirds of people, despite spam, viruses and other online threats, new communication channels and Web 2.0 applications, according to research from Ipsos.

Ipsos, commissioned by Habeas, a secure e-mail service provider, found that 67% of consumers prefer e-mail as their primary communications channel for personal and business use, and 65% are unlikely to change in future.

However, Ipsos found that consumers are worried about spam and viruses, especially on their mobile devices. They also want more control over their online activities.

Ipsos said other forms of communication are much less important than e-mail. Only one in five expected video conferencing to become important, with instant messaging (IM), SMS text messages and web meetings (12%) all getting the nod from fewer than one in seven.

However, younger consumers are more comfortable IM, SMS and social networking, but even they will prefer e-mail for business use over the next five years.

More are worried about e-mail scams (69% compared with 62% in 2007), with one-third unsure about how to identify identify threats. Threats to mobile devices are also worrying more (43% compared with 36% in 2007).

Nearly 90% want more choice over the content and frequency of the e-mails they receive, including options on advertisements, special offers, articles, newsletters, white papers and other specific content options.

They also prefer to do business with organisations that allow them to opt in to receive their content. But daily email messages are as damaging as pop-up advertisements to firms' online reputation.

Eight of 10 said sharing customers' email addresses is a no-no. This is why nearly 60% have two or more personal email addresses, giving a different address to entities they do not trust while maintaining separate accounts for trustworthy sources.

Author: Ian Grant

Source: http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2008/06/04/230935/users-prefer-e-mail-to-instant-messaging-and-sms-survey.htm

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Brosix Launched Highly Secure Instant Messaging Tool Designed for Businesses.

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Carson City, NV, United States, 06/03/2008 - Brosix to extend products by providing an enterprise instant messenger.

Brosix has launched an efficient and highly secure instant messaging tool especially designed for businesses.

Like a traditional, free public instant messenger, the new solution ensures fast and inexpensive communication between team members. However, unlike conventional tools, it provides highly secure communication, as very strong encryption is applied to all data transfers. Thus, instant messaging is made possible for discussing confidential and company-sensitive issues. Furthermore, using a special enterprise instant messenger automatically eliminates the risk of viruses.

Besides security, Brosix has additional features that make it a preferred communication medium. It allows clients to create their own business instant messaging network and to optimize work processes by means of various collaboration features, such as Whiteboard, Co-Browse, Voice/Video Chat, etc. The solution provides an administrative console to ensure easy management of the instant messaging network. Moreover, no advertisements are displayed at Brosix, and fast and reliable technical support is provided.

The new corporate messenger is hosted on Brosix’s servers, so business owners need not worry about configuration and maintenance issues. Brosix operates a global servers infrastructure, which means that users get connected to the geographically closest server.

Brosix offers flat-fee pricing which depends on the number of users registered in a given network, and additional subscriptions can be added at a further point if the number of users grows.

The secure instant messaging tool will be a much-awaited solution for many businesses that heavily rely on confidential and reliable information exchange, Brosix officials explain. Many multinational businesses and firms where staff telecommute or work flexible hours are beginning to realize the need of enterprise instant messaging. As working habits change, companies begin to seek new ways to maintain efficient communication, and secure instant messaging has great potential to become one of them.

Brosix was founded in 2006 to develop simple, easy-to-use, secure communication tools for home and enterprises. Our goal is to enable people and organizations to benefit from innovative instant messaging and other Internet technologies without making substantial investments in hardware, software and infrastructure.

Agency / Source: My Clicks, LLC

LAN Instant Messaging Software - LAN Messenger

LAN Messenger is an instant messaging software for home or office users that can be very useful for your work. LAN chats allow you to commu...