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Step Eleven - Do's and Don'ts For Instant Messaging

Beware of what's in Instant Messaging.

Whether you believe it or not, instant messaging services are now just as prone to viruses as any other scammers.

Since almost anyone and everyone has access to e-mail these days, viruses now have the ability to get through to both your office and home as this popular form of communication is being employed by virus writers in order to spread electronic worms and viruses.

According to a study carried out way back in 2003 by the Internet Security of Symantec, viruses and worms that were spread by using instant messaging services have increased up to 400%.

Instant Messaging Worms

Right now, the worms Bizex and Jitux.A are now targeting the instant messaging services of MSN as well as ICQ.

Getting through to the contacts of a particular user’s IM currently spreads the worm Jitux.A. Nevertheless, the Bizex worm has an intention which is more malevolent, as it sends a user a link to a particular web site that has already scanned the computer you are using for any electronic finances or payments.

Since this worm was discovered, the site has since been shutdown, nevertheless, it is yet to be known of the quantity of data that they have already collected, albeit maliciously.

Don’t ever be complacent!

Though all the major virus threats have already been discovered, this is not the right time for you to be contented. Threats could still keep on coming. As more users get better knowledge on how to prevent traditional virus attacks, virus writers will be continually looking for other targets.

This information follows CyberScrub president, Bill Adler, and the soft targets are currently instant messaging services.

Nevertheless, don’t panic

It is still not a good reason for you to throw away your instant messaging service. Remain aware that several viruses in Instant Messages don’t propagate automatically.

More usually, clicking a link or downloading an applet is what would be needed in order to download a virus or a worm.

Avoiding all these threats require that the users constantly be vigilant and always carry out safe computing. 
Arm yourself with some more useful tips: Do's and Don'ts For Instant Messaging - 2