In an ideal world, it would be great if every program that was downloaded was completely safe and no one had to worry about the program containing a virus or Trojan. However, in the real world, this simply isn't the case. Malicious computer hackers will use whatever means necessary to gain access into home computers through viruses posing as safe and legitimate programs, like instant messenger clients. Some hackers use these programs to collect personal information, allowing them to steal a user's identity and wrecking havoc on their credit. Below are some steps to take in order to ensure that users download instantmessenger programs that are safe and credible.
Research Ahead of Time
Before you download instant messenger clients, be sure to do a lot of research. Only download instant messenger clients who have all the components you need and will use almost every day. Make a short list of what you are looking for and try to stick with it when you decide which program to choose.
Company You Trust
It's important to remember to only download instant messenger programs that have good reviews from the users that have a lot of experience with them. User reviews are also great because they allow you to find out bugs or flaws that may come from every day use of the client.
After you have located a IM client to download, make sure you either download it from the creator's website itself or from a trusted download site like CNET. To make sure that it is safe, look for an icon that says it is verified, certified, or has been 100% tested for viruses by an independent resource.
Finally, after the .exe file has downloaded, have your virus scanner check the file to make sure that a virus isn't embedded into it.
Once you have completely downloaded your IM program, use it and make sure you provide feedback both to the developer and the user community. They will appreciate your feedback and put it to good use.