Have you already experienced chatting using your favorite Instant Messenger then suddenly a pop-up message from one of your buddy list came out asking you to click the link offered? If you have, then beware of these strange and suspicious messages because there are a lot malicious things floating around in your IM that may trouble you.
Today, viruses and other malwares can now be easily spread using an instant messenger (such as Yahoo, Live, MSN, AOL, etc). Like traditional e-mail viruses, IM-borne viruses appear as messages sent from someone you know, inviting you to click an attached file or a Web link for a self-proclaimed sexy photo or awesome information. And like e-mail viruses, IM-borne viruses steal your IM contact lists (to send itself to other hapless IMers) and require you to open the file or visit an infected Web page in order to become infected. But unlike e-mail viruses, which can be stopped as one at the corporate mail server, IM-borne viruses hit randomly and sometimes with blinding speed.
Here are just of some the messages or links that you shouldn’t click or else you will get the virus!
Breaking news : school girls are kidnapped by the terrorists !! hxxp://mytermex.com/?news_id=18388
damn, she is so cute hxxp://nsl-school.org?id=miss_world
you are virus infected . Use this tool to remove viruses from your PC : hxxp://mytermex.com/?id=virus_shield
oh my god , i’ve won a 20000 usd lottery :O hxxp://nsl-school.org/?id=winning_list . Come to my house tonight for a party !!
As with most threats on the Internet, you can help keep yourself safe by taking basic precautions. Here are five (5) steps to help avoid instant message viruses.
1. Be careful with links and files in IM. Never click a link or open, accept, or download a file in IM from someone you don’t know. If the link or file is in an IM from someone you do know, don’t click the link or open the file unless you know what the link or file is and you were expecting it. Contact the sender by e-mail, phone, or some other method to confirm that what they sent was not a virus.
2. Update your Windows software. Visit Microsoft Update to scan your computer and install any high-priority updates that are offered to you. If you have Automatic Updates enabled, the updates are delivered to you when they are released, but you have to make sure you install them. For more information, visit the Protect Your PC site.
3. Make sure you’re using an updated version of your IM software. Using the most up-to-date version of your IM software can better protect your computer against viruses and spyware. If you’re using MSN Messenger, upgrade to Windows Live Messenger, which will block attachments that might contain malware and allow you to scan attachments for viruses. For more information, see Windows Live Messenger Overview.
4. Use antivirus software and keep it updated. Antivirus software can help to detect and remove IM viruses from your computer, but only if you keep the antivirus software current. If you’ve purchased a subscription from an antivirus software company, your antivirus software may update itself when you’re connected to the Internet.
5. Use antispyware software and keep it updated. Some IM viruses may install spyware or other unwanted software on your computer. Antispyware software can help to protect your computer from spyware and remove any spyware you may already have. If you don’t have antispyware software, you can download Windows Defender. Windows Defender comes with Windows Vista. If you use Windows XP SP2, you can download Windows Defender for no charge.