We all know that we should download our IM software from the source. That does not mean, that we always do what we should, or that the right option is always available to you. If you can not get your instant messenger from the source you are going to have to get it from another location. Before you click on that “download” button be sure to wet the site.
How do you know if a site is trustworthy?
1. Reputation. A site like CNET’s download.com has a long history of providing quality downloads.
2. Variety. A site with a large database is one that is likely to be screening.
3. A site that tells you it is screening downloads for viruses.
Always be sure that you are getting exactly what you think you are getting. Just as an extra precaution be sure to do a virus scan once you download.
If you do not have a virus scanner just get ClamWin, it is free and useful.
Recently, there was a text scam going around. A faux warning about gang initiations. (See video below) and it made me realise how likely that is to also happen on an IM. It cause a panic in some areas of the country.
How to deal with a possible scam IM
1. Identify the sender. Are they reliable or prone to gossip?
2. Evaluate the material. Are felons likely to announce their plans to victims? Probably not.
3. When it doubt, check it out. Use a reliable website, search engine or call your local authorities. They will be able to help you figure out fact from scam.
*A note on substantially similar. Depending on where you live this may be a legal term. If you are caught in a substantially similar act then you may be eligible for a ticket even if the law is not specifically about that action. Always check and obey your local laws.
Some people never manage to get the basics of cyber manners. Let’s look at some of the most annoying offenders.
1. The booty IM: This comes in two forms. The most common involves a chat mate who wants to have IM “phone” sex. The issue here is lack of discrimination. Oh, you’re at your grandma’s, at work, the campus library, so what? Just tacky. (Plus sex without intimacy or tactile simulation is just wasteful). The second is a late night booty call IM. Beware this one ladies. He’s keeping his options open in case you say no.
2. The ones who love to hear themselves type: Every answer, every thought is in the form of a paragraph. If you counted it up they would dominate 9110ths of the space. Turns out windbags aren’t any fun online either.
3. The long thinker: They start the conversation, ask you tons of questions, but take forever to get back to you. Be suspicious, you may be being pumped for information.
4. Death by IM minutia spam: No, we don’t want to know about the location of all of your babies freckles (unless they are shaped funny). Just send a photo and stop boring us.
5. IMvertising: Chat bots (or live people) who are only there to give a sales pitch to everyone online is just annoying.