Author Topic: IMs & Chat Rooms Riskier  (Read 2202 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Chim

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Advanced Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 1151
IMs & Chat Rooms Riskier
« on: June 13, 2011, 05:02:03 PM »
A MyOpera Community friend whom I hadn't heard from in about a year contacted me yesterday.  Apparently she deleted her account because she had been having problems with security.  She mentioned Viruses, but also seems to imply possible hacking of her account.  I'll have to investigate her more to see exactly what kinds of problems.

Anyway, apparently she uses YIM as she wanted to IM with me.
IM-ing isn't my thing, so that's NOT likely to happen.

Anyway, my question is:
Have I heard correctly?  Aren't IM-ing and Chat Rooms riskier, more prone to people acquiring Viruses / Malware vs. just regular Browsing and hanging out in Facebook, MySpace, MyOpera, Etc.?  True, what people do in those places is of course a risk.  But, I'm referring to the just BEING there and navigating around there.  IS IM-ing riskier?  I don't know that my friend does the Chat Room thing.  But, I wanted to find out so as to warn her.  She wanted me to "teach" her how to protect herself better and avoid whatever problems she had.

I'll of course inform her of the usual stuff:  Anti-Virus, Anti-Malware, Firewall, Keeping her OS updated, her Browser updated, her Flash Player updated and whatever other Apps updated.  I just wanted to know whether I need to tell her that the IM thing is a bigger risk than normal.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2011, 05:04:18 PM by Chim »
Dell Optiplex 780 / Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00 GHz / 4 Gig RAM / Windows XP Pro 32-Bit SP3 / Panda Dome  Free 18.07.00 / MBAM / SAS / NetZero Dial Up / Maxthon MX5 5.2.5.4000

Offline scythe944

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Massive Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 2913
    • My Tech Blog
Re: IMs & Chat Rooms Riskier
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2011, 05:08:28 PM »
I don't see why not.

Chat room is on the web, which carries the same dangers as any other website. It's risky, but no more risky than clicking on a malicious website link from a google search.  If you want to be completely safe, it's better to not use them at all, but that would be the same as saying not using the internet at all.

IM protocol is usually pretty safe, as IM programs usually block all transfers and ask you if you want to accept a file from someone first.  Unless of course, you tell it to allow all file transfers without asking, which of course would be dumb.
For generic computer (not avast) problems, you can also visit my forum for help: http://www.jacobytech.net/forum

Offline Chim

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Advanced Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 1151
Re: IMs & Chat Rooms Riskier
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2011, 01:15:40 AM »
Oh, Okay, scythe, I guess I won't freak out my friend by telling her to stop IM-ing immediately. ;D
Thanks, scythe!
Dell Optiplex 780 / Core 2 Duo E8400 3.00 GHz / 4 Gig RAM / Windows XP Pro 32-Bit SP3 / Panda Dome  Free 18.07.00 / MBAM / SAS / NetZero Dial Up / Maxthon MX5 5.2.5.4000

Offline scythe944

  • Avast Evangelist
  • Massive Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 2913
    • My Tech Blog
Re: IMs & Chat Rooms Riskier
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2011, 06:23:33 AM »
Sure. I certainly thought that many more people would have chimed in with their thoughts as well, but I guess I was it.

If you think about it though, IM's and chat rooms aren't any more dangerous than any webpage.

The only difference is plugins that the "rooms" or "IM clients" may use, such as flash, java, activex, etc.  Then, not only do you have the usually "drive by download" problems to deal with, but you also have exploits for vulnerable software.

If that's the case, just make sure she has the most up to date software possible and practice safe hex.  Secunia online scanner and Windows Updates will help with that, the rest is common sense, which of course we cannot teach.  8)

Hope that helps!
For generic computer (not avast) problems, you can also visit my forum for help: http://www.jacobytech.net/forum