January 04, 2007

Nowadays, IM (instant messenger) services are probably the easiest way to keep in touch in real time with friends and co-workers. However, IM worms are becoming more sophisticated than ever. The article contains several tips to stay safe while using IM services:

1. Don’t click the links you receive in IM

Don’t click the links you receive in IM unless you know the sender intended to send you the link. Also, don’t click any links in the “Away” messages. The “away” messages are often targeted by IM worms.

2. Don’t accept file transfers

Don’t accept file transfers without checking who the sender is. If you do accept a file transfer, make sure to scan the file with an antivirus program before opening it.

3. Keep your list of clients to the minimum

Try to keep the number of clients to the minimum. Don’t allow everyone to be in your list just because you met them in a chat room. IM worms are designed to target specific clients, as well as multiple clients. Worms in the past have affected several IM services, for example, 2002 FloodNet IM worm target both AOL and MSN Instant Messenger users.
What if you get infected?

If you do get infected, everyone in your list will be vulnerable to attacks. To avoid that, disconnect the service from the Internet until you are able to remove the infection. Of course, you won’t get infected if you keep the antivirus up to date and you treat any IM as serious as receiving an email.

Posted by Christina @ data.no


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