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Stop the “Spim”

Saturday, August 6th, 2005 by | Filed Under: Security Help, Using The Internet
 
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What is SPIM? If you use an instant messaging service like AIM, MSN Messenger, or Yahoo Messenger then you probably know. It is unwanted commercial messages that pop up, enticing you to click a link for some product or service.

Another IM annoyance is a message from someone you don’t know (or don’t know well). Anyone with your AOL or Yahoo address can use it to send you an IM when you are online. So you’re having a nice conversation with your sister when suddenly up pops the name of some dude from a message board you occasionally visit. Can you say “stalker”?

So, is there an easy way to prevent this. Sure is, and I’m gonna show you how.

In AIM (Accessed through AOL 9.0) click the “More Options” button then select “IM Settings”. Click on the “Privacy and Security” tab. Choose the button for “Allow only people on my Buddy list”. *The free AIM stand-alone that you download from AOL does not have this ability.

For Yahoo Messenger go to Messenger/Privacy Options then select “Ignore List”. Check the button for “Ignore anyone who is not on my Messenger List”.

With MSN Messenger go to Tools/Options then select “Privacy”. Check off “Only people on my Allow List can see my status and send me messages”. This will bring up your contacts list.

I didn’t see any way to do this with Trillian which really bummed me out.

This should prevent you from getting unwanted Instant Messages in the future.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas

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