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Using Instant Messaging Safely

written by: Cherrineb•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 1/10/2011

Instant messaging is becoming a commonly used techonology tool for both home, school, and work. This tool always its user to communicate in real-time and gain important information quickly. However, using instant messaging safely is important to keep this tool effective.

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    Anonymous and Instant Messaging

    Instant messaging only requires two users, two computers, and a specific time. It does not require looking at a person or any identity code so anyone can use this tool. This means a person can logged on and indicate that she is a young, single woman from Idaho when she is a married, man in France so it is important to use common sense.

    You should not reveal any personal information such as your name, address, place of employment, or favorite, local hang outs. This information can be used by someone who has malicious intentions and cause problems with your peace of mind.

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    Create Security Settings

    Your browser, operations system, and instant messaging tools should be kept up to date along with your anti-virus software to minimize the risk of an unsavory character obtaining detailed, personal information such as your primary e-mail address. When using instant messaging for recreational purposes, limit the amount of time you spend typing to keep yourself from going off track and typing important information.

    When using instant messaging for business/work purposes, keep your typing short and simple and stay within guidelines since the meeting can have long-lasting results. Also, understand that all business/work relationships do not last so you do not want to provide detailed information that can be used against you such as legal issues.

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    Business Practices and Instant Messaging

    There can be security issues with a corporate network and instant message application that could allow outsider to record and monitor data and information. For instance, if you and a business co-worker are typing about payroll and social security data this information can be stolen by a computer hacker and create stolen identity issues. Hence, a business should consider what general and specific information should be used during instant messaging.

    For instance, it may be determined to only discuss brainstorming. general ideas, and public information such as s stock's price and discuss sensitive information such as financial accounts, names of employees, and patented information in person or by more secure methods.