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Showing posts from July, 2011

How To Secure Your Instant Messaging Communication?

Instant messaging (IM) existed before the Internet in multi-user operating systems as early as the 1960s. In 1996, Internet-wide IM became widely available through the ICQ platform. During the early days of Internet IM, ICQ and subsequent instant messaging services lacked privacy and security. Although IM services have increased security measures, there are still many risks in using an IM service. Take precautions that ensure secure IM.

1. Use messaging services that support encryption for authentication during log in and when messages are sent and received, such as Skype or AOL Instant Messenger. Encryption help to keep your passwords and messages from being hacked by unwanted persons across the Internet.

Some IM providers have encryption turned on by default while others ask you to turn it on in your messenger settings yourself. Before using a service, double check your settings to make sure encryption is enabled.

2. Prefer an IM company that does not keep a log or history from communi…

How Secure Is Instant Messaging?

Instant Messaging software (IM) can be a really helpful tool, but we know the following risks:

Don’t think your everyday IM conversations are private. They going over the network unencrypted and can be easily stealed. IM isn't a good way to transfer sensitive data such as credit card numbers, passwords, and social security numbers. It's about as secure as email, which is to say "not all that secure."

Worms are also a big problem. Several IM worms will send messages to all your IM buddies with instructions to "click here" to play a computer game or view an image, but point instead to a malicious URL that installs a virus. These messages will appear to your buddies either as you are initiating a session with them or in the middle of an existing IM session with you. And the worm is even smart enough to impersonate your buddy in the conversation if you try to verify his or her identity with a question like, "Is it really you?" To prevent infection, keep…