How To

5 Tips for Safer Instant Messaging

Softonic Editorial Team


Instant messaging services like Imo are great for keeping in touch with those you love, but they can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful. For safer messaging, use these tips:

1. Never Give Out Personal Information

5 Tips for Safer Instant Messaging

The truth is, it can be easy to form deep friendships online using instant messaging. This happens in part due to the anonymity that the online world provides, leading some people to actually start creating a version of their online friend in their heads. Sadly, predators and criminals feed on this concept and pretend to be people they aren’t. Once they’ve gained someone’s trust, however, they may ask for personal information to use for nefarious purposes. As a result, never disclose personal information to someone you don’t actually know.

2. Be Careful With Your Screen Name

Screen names are the names you use when chatting with others on instant messaging clients, and they help to identify who is who. You can run into potential problems, though, when your screen name is too identifying. As a result, never use your actual name for your screen name, and don’t use overly-identifiable information either.

3. Don’t Accept Chat Requests From Strangers

Because of the potential for online hacking and identity theft, it’s a good idea to only accept chat requests from people you know. Criminals and predators will often send out chat requests to large groups of people in the hopes that some will accept them and form a relationship. Often, these people will include attractive pictures as their avatars in order to entice someone to accept. The bottom line? If you don’t know the person, don’t accept a random chat request.

4. Be Careful With Pictures and Other Downloads

One way that hackers and criminals use to gain access to data is through the use of file downloads. Once you click on an attachment in a chat session, you may be exposing your PC or mobile device to a dangerous virus. For this reason, never click on or download attachments from people you don’t know when using instant messaging services.

5. Never Meet Someone in Private

As mentioned, instant messaging can form strong relationships, and although some are fake, many are real. However, if you choose to meet someone in person that you’ve only met online, do so in a public place where there are plenty of other people around. This can reduce the chance that the person you’re meeting can cause you harm if they have ill intentions.

Fan of instant messaging? Don’t forget to take a look at IM+ for Windows 8 in Split Screen Mode!

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