Friday, April 25, 2008

Instant Messengers, The Good and The Bad

Instant messengers like MSN and Skype are widely used today. Businesses also draw benefits from these IMs (Instant Messengers), communication is fast and cheap, sometimes totally free. While the use of IMs for personal communication is hard to avoid, businesses need to be aware of dangers posed by Instant Messengers. We have come across companies that boast of high security, laptops are given to only a very few select managers, office systems cannot be accessed from outside the office, no one is allowed to bring in or take out storage devices like CDs and thumbdrives etc. The company proudly claimed that since the last 2 years, staff and workers have been given instructions not to carry mobile phones (cell phones) into or out of the office too.

On walking through the office we noticed almost every desk loaded with an active session of MSN messenger, some computers had Skype installed too. The managers were boasting of the communication costs saved by using these IMs. Fax and telephone bills across branch offices were almost completely eliminated. It was certainly a great achievement but most of them were not aware of other hazards created by these Instant Messengers. The fact is that almost any type of document or image can be sent out of the office by merely clicking a few keys on the Internet Messenger software. Staff did not have to play tricks with the security staff, physical checking would reveal nothing. By using a scanner and digital camera, no information in the office was confidential. You could even use the mircophone attached to these IMs and record voice inside the office, then send the file right out of the premises through the IM itself!

It might be useful to stay updated with such information, avoid problems before they occur and stop living with a false sense of security. Get more information at this link:

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