|By Fudger on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 12:17 am:|
Apparently there are some high risks in a chat room for hackers to exploit? Are there any of these, ICQ, YAHOO MESSENGER, MSN MESSENGER , safe to use or how can you protect yourself if you should use one or all of these or which ones are not safe? Saw on another site some problem areas and all questions were not clearly addressed? thanks
|By Josh Lowe on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 02:28 pm:|
I have used ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger for about 4 years, and I have never had any problems. There are ways to crash some of them, and ICQ suposedly has ways to allow people to harm your computer, but I have never run across any of these situations.
The main thing is, know who you are chatting with, and don't accept any files or anything besides messages from people you are not completely trusting of.
I have used Yahoo messenger very limitedly, and never used MSN, but I suppose the same rule would apply to both of those. There is always risks from hackers, but almost all attacks occur because the victim opens a certain file sent to them, or they accept files from people they don't know. Don't do those things, and you would be pretty safe.
|By Fudger on Tuesday, February 20, 2001 - 10:48 pm:|
Thanks; i guess i am not sure, if you enter a room , can you be hacked by being there or do you have to retrieve or send files to be exposed? Are firewalls necessary or just virus scan?
|By Josh Lowe on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 10:33 am:|
Technically, yes you can be hacked in a chat room. However, someone must be pretty skilled to do any real damage. If someone has a little hacking knowledge, they can cause your computer to lock up so that you must reboot.... but other than that, they can't do too much (unless it is a really skilled hacker).
The majority of skilled hackers don't just go attacking people at random... there would be a reason for an attack. Unless you give a reason, you will most likely be left alone. The majority of people online that call themselves "hackers" are usually teenagers who use a few hacking programs to try and mess up people's computers. Those are the ones you must watch out for. However, all of the hacking utilities that I know of must send a user a file before they can be infected.
This file doesn't have to be a program, it could be a picture with special code placed inside it that infects your computer once the image is opened. So never ever accept files from people you don't totally trust. You just must be careful. You should always run a virus scan on any file you download (right-click on it, and choose scan for viruses).
If you really want to secure your computer from the hacking where you don't open a file... then you should get a firewall. There is a great free firewall available from http://www.zonealarm.com
Check it out... use it, and don't be too paranoid... most people online are not out to hurt anyone... just use common sense when dealing with files from other people.
|By Josh Lowe on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 09:26 pm:|
Just to add to my last post...
If you are really interested in protecting yourself, and chat programs are a concern, email me directly and I will give you some less-than-mainstream information that you might find helpful.
|By Catchup on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 - 02:57 am:|
Nicely put Josh;
Most of the paranoia about the Internet is the same as it was when the telephone was invented and the the television. When they came up with cable T.V. and satelite, people really went off the deep end.
None has caused as much concern as the Internet though. But, if you think about it, unless your a mega corporation with hundreds of machines connected in a network and that is connected to the internet, you're probably pretty safe.
Most major problems with "hackers" (and I use the term lightly) originates from within a company. Unless someone is looking for YOU specifically, and you've given them good reason to look for you, nobody really cares...
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