Stranger Danger – Kids and teens love instant messaging for keeping in touch with their friends.
However, most IM software allows users to create profiles and add new contacts from around the world.
It is worth remembering that most IM software does not include any encryption by default and it is not a good idea to send sensitive information by IM without encrypting it first.
There are several different instant messaging services in use on the internet.
Don’t ever be tempted to send credit or debit card details.
For individuals or corporations who want a greater degree of privacy, special encryption software can be used to secure IM conversations.
This process is similar to ‘chat rooms’ except instant messaging is usually between two people rather than groups of people. Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a complicated sounding acronym but is actually easy to explain. Webcams are small cameras that usually sit on top of your PC monitor.
There are several different types of IM program available on the internet, but while they all do the same job, IM software from one company is generally not compatible with IM software from another company.
So, for example, a user who installs Windows Live Messenger will not be able to communicate with a user who is using AOL instant messenger, although there is nothing to stop you installing more than one IM program onto your computer.
VOIP software connects two computers on the internet and allows the users to speak to each other using a compatible headset. Often the pictures they take do not get sent to the web at all, instead they are transmitted across the internet to friends, family or contacts.
If your internet connection is up to it, a webcam will allow you to see your friends as you chat to them, like a video-phone.
Hopefully when you have read the article and become familiar with the concepts, you’ll be eager to try them out for yourself. Indeed, e-mail has been around as long as the internet itself.