The Dangers of Instant Messaging

Almost everyone of us knows that technology made it to the point wherein its available for all. From a simple student up to the CEO of a well known company, both experienced the wonders of technology But just like any other thing, when there is good, there is bad. So when things seems to be so good, then expect the worse from it…  Believe it or not, even the popular instant messaging services are now also vulnerable  to any viruses,  scammers and other attacks.

Since almost all of us has access to the internet, then be ready to have all sort of different  viruses be your guest whether in your office or your home now that the  popular form of communication is being used by virus writers to spread electronic worms and viruses.

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

Let’s give the floor to this viruses, and introduce them one by one.

The worms  Bizex and Jitux.A  are now knocking at the door of  the instant messaging services of MSN as well as ICQ.

The worm Jitux.A is currently spreading by creeping into the contacts of a particular user’s IM. However, the Bizex worm has an intent that is more malicious, it sends a user a link to a particular web site that have already scanned the computer you are using for any electronic finances or payments.

Do not be deceive by game links and kinds… It could be a virus disguising to be a convincing game.

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

Do not be at ease though

Though theses major viruses threat have already been discovered, this is no reason to rejoice. Because these virus writers are only looking for someone to attack with the same viruses worse… different new viruses and their soft target are currently instant messaging services.

Yet do not panic

There are better ways and preventive measures taht you can do to avoid these viruses.

  • First, avoid clicking a link or downloading an applet because most of the time, that is what it needs to download a virus or a worm.
  • Do not trust your friends messages. Remember that when they are infected with virus… those viruses can send messages for them, unbeknown. Avoid clicking any link.
  • Links may be a Trojan horse that would automatically install spyware and adware on your PC and easily distribute itself.
  • Its during these moments that an anti-virus software would be a big help.

A lot of software could help

Fortunately, anti-virus companies are always trying to counter act the virus writers, there are security and anti-virus software that could extend the coverage protection of instant messaging services.  Zone Labs has released IMSecure. It is  program that makes it possible to encrypt messages as well as block hazardous and dangerous URLs. The anti-virus software of Norton by Symantec  features the scanning of instant messages as well as McAfee. These software programs are able to remove different viruses from any files that were received through instant messaging.

The good thing about the mentioned software is that it works to help. Based on the tests conducted by PC World, a lot of anti-virus software have been able to catch known worms and viruses that were sent via instant messaging.

However, it is also a fact that there is really no defined anti-virus software program that is 100% effective.

Prevention is always the most excellent defense.

All in all, one way to prevent threats from worms and viruses is by taking precaution.  It is better to be safe than sorry.