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Friday, October 06, 2006

Those IMs Aren't as Private as You Think


The recent Mark Foley scandal where the congressman resigned after being confronted with incriminating e-mails and IMs demonstrates how easy it is for instant messaging to be publicized. You might feel secure talking about your personal business with your IM buddies, but you really aren't since anyone can intercept your communications. Even worse, if your buddies are archiving your chat sessions, then it's very easy to get access to every conversation you've ever had, and embarrassing personal matters may get out.

Your employers may even be monitoring your IMs. A survey
found that only 13% of companies have started logging IM records, but the crackdown is starting to take effect: About 2% of employers have fired employees for something they said over IM. By comparison, the study said, 26% of companies have terminated employees for misuse of email.
While you have probably wised up to being more careful in email, you'll want to be ahead of the curve in securing your IMs.

It's more important than ever to use a secure IM client that encrypts your conversations. ScatterChat supports message encryption for AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN, and it's very easy to use. The best part is that recorded conversations are encrypted using a feature called perfect forward secrecy so both buddies' encryption keys are needed to decrypt the conversations.

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