The use of instant messaging for rapid communication, as opposed to voice contact, is a phenomenon that I must admit, has never appealed to me.
The reality is however, that programs such as MSN Messenger, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, and a basket full of other IM applications, are extremely popular.
If you are an IM convert what would you think if you came across an application that advertised as follows? –
“Apheve Pro is a great piece of software which contains a key feature of disguising as multiple instant messaging services including Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo! and Skype. This program would be perfect for if you have the annoying visitor coming round who wants to sign in to their IM account”.
Pretty cool, huh? Imagine, a free application designed specifically to help you steal Instant Messenger logins including MSN Messenger, Yahoo IM and Skype as mentioned in the blurb above.
On the other hand, like me, you might feel disgusted, revolted, or just plain pi**ed off that such a piece of obviously illegal software is freely available on the internet.
There is nothing to be gained by describing how this piece of crap works. It is sufficient to say that it works; and it works far too well!
Since this application can be deployed in diverse locations including the workplace, schools, libraries, and so on, it is obviously a very dangerous hacking tool.
As I have said numerous times on this site, from a security perspective these applications can present considerable security risks. We can now add one more.
Follow these tips to ensure you are protected when using instant messaging.
For added protection when using a public computer, ensure that you disable any features that retain login information to prevent other users from gaining access to your instant messaging once you leave.
Don’t click on links, or download files from unknown sources. You need to be alert to the dangers in clicking on links, or downloading files from sources that are not known to you. Even if the files or links apparently come from someone you know, you have to be positive that it really was this person who has sent the message.
Check with your contact to be sure the files, or links are genuine. Remember, if you click on those links, or run those attachments without confirmation, you run the risk of letting malware into your computer.
Use only secure passwords, and be sure to change them regularly. The longer and more varied they are – using a variety of different characters and numbers – the more secure they will be.
Protect personal and confidential information when using IM. Revealing confidential or personal information in these types of conversations can make you an easy target for Internet predators.
It’s virtually impossible to avoid publishing your email address on the Internet, however do so only when absolutely necessary. Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for accounts to target.