Instant messaging has turned very popular today with the advent of the Internet revolution, a boon to Internet users to receive and send messages to family and friends. Instant messaging or IM as it is popularly called that started as sending and receiving messages within the same computer network in an office, has today grown to compass the entire world. You, as a computer user can not only send text messages, but also audio and webcam messages to anyone across the world. All you need is an Internet connection to a screen name to get started, but do know and master the tips and tricks of instant messaging to have a good and safe experience.

Instant messaging clients could offer security and privacy in communicating with another  person on the Internet. They offer both private and group messaging features, in addition to file transfer and video chat features. You can sure improve your instant messaging Internet experience by first taking care to protect your computer. It is in your interest to protect yourself from malignant programs and Spam that could not only cause annoying bug and virus but could also lead to revealing of your credit card information. Annoying bugs and virus can easily affect your computer by download of infected mail, Websites and instant messages, so it is best to avoid download to links that are open, from unknown people. If the message is coming from a person known to you, but you have suspicion, just confirm from the person if the message is trustworthy before opening any attachment; if it’s not just close the instant messaging., a website into security information caution people against such programs that not only infect your computer, but also send wrong messages to e-mails in your contact list. This could lead to wrong messages being sent that could ruin your reputation also. Hence adjusting your instant messaging settings to only include transmit of messages from and to people in your messaging list is advisable.

Exercise caution and safety in creating a screen name. Most instant messengers ask you to create a screen name that is similar to an e-mail address, instead of using jacksonsmith, it would be safe to use a nickname like flutteringboy. Prevent unwanted instant messaging by creating barriers for certain e-mail addresses; in addition, avoid enlisting
your e-mail addresses in large Internet directories or online community profiles. Never give your e-mail to strangers and suspicious people. All this can help avoid increase of Spam and phishing attacks. Block unwanted messages by IM programs allowing you to build a contact list; the choice is yours to allow anyone to add you to their contact list.

Avoid meeting strangers you met online and know only in instant messaging, if you must make sure to follow the tip of taking safety precautions. Take a friend, parent, relative with you and always meet them in a public place only, maybe an office, café, bus station or railway station. Make sure to maintain privacy and your personal dignity by not sending personal and private instant messages when you are at work or someone is around. In addition, be cautious about the way you display messages when you are not available, you may not want to display to all your online contacts that you are not available.

Some of us may not have personal computers and may use computers in cyber café or other public places, never log on automatically. Also make sure to log out completely after you have finished chatting to someone, people using the computer after you could misuse information and your e-mail address. One way to safeguard is to sign up for Windows Live Family Safety, protect your children online by signing up for Windows 7 and Windows Vista that come with built-in parental controls.

It is vital for you to understand as a user of instant messaging system that running more than one messaging system at a time may affect the memory of your computer and slow it down. The use of third party instant messaging client, most of whom are familiar with instant messaging clients like Yahoo, Gtalk, AIM and Skype makes it easily possible to log on to many instant messaging accounts with a single program.

It is a boon of instant messaging that many IM clients offer facility to connect their social networking sites with them. This helps give greater flexibility and convenience in chatting with friends and family to keep in touch at the same time and place. It does offer the great advantage of making and maintaining good and amicable relationships in this jet age where people find it the best way to keep in touch in their spare time.

However I would like to caution you that it is best to exercise caution and discretion by not giving all personal details on public forums and social networking sites. Information could be misused for personal gains that may harm your interests in the long run. I would ask you all to pay attention to what, a company offering home and office computer security has to say, protect personal information to remove your susceptibility to hackers, who are responsible for spams, cyber crimes and misrepresentation of identity.

It would be best to look at some popular and most used instant messaging systems and their utility. Yahoo Messenger is best recommended for those, who wish to get something more than mere chatting from instant messaging. Yahoo Messenger 10 can be used for Windows making it highly social and customized with its over 12 plug-ins to add games,
weather, WebEx. Yahoo Voice helps you get a dedicated phone number and assign ring tones to callers.

Windows Live Messenger/MSN Messenger is another powerful instant messenger that besides chat provides for video calls, basic VOIP, and many other fun features. You have the facility to place your favorite friends at the top of the contact list for easy navigation. AOL Instant Messenger, the faster and lighter version of AOL Instant Messenger is the new AIM 7.3, which is a boon for instant messaging, providing integration with Facebook. You can easily sign into AIM from your Facebook online account and chat with your contacts on AIM. The most popular service outside USA is still ICQ that facilitates touch with international friends; it has a full integration with Facebook and also other social networking sites. Wish you happy instant messaging times with all its tips and tricks.

About the author:

The author of the above article is an expert in the technical niche and has written on several topics such as password hacker, ethical hacking tutorials, erp system and types of virus. To keep yourself up-to-date do visit the websites by clicking on the respective links.