Spyware Spreading Through Windows Messenger

Spyware Spreading Through Windows Messenger

Even though programs such as Windows Messenger were not created for tasks like this, using the software is one way in which attackers are spreading spyware. The best feature of Windows Messenger is that it allows real-time communication between two computer users, without them having to wait to transmit messages. As a communication system, it is entirely instantaneous, and this is one of the reasons that attackers have caught on to its popularity. Millions of people will use programs such as Windows Messenger to correspond, and this represents a perfect opportunity for an attacker. A lot of the spyware released for Windows Messenger is done through the use of forums and file sharing.

Computer users will click files that have been shared with them by unknown contacts, and later find themselves infected with spyware. In some instances, the spyware is quite advanced, and the computer user does not even know it is being installed. One way to protect yourself from receiving spyware in Windows Messenger is to first be very cautious about who you add as a contact. Often we think that because we are hidden behind a computer screen, a total stranger is unable to harm us. However, spyware placed on computers from total strangers might possibly retrieve your banking information.

Another tip to prevent being infected while using Windows Messenger would be to only download files from people you trust. If you receive a message to download and share files, confirm with the other person in the conversation that they are sending you a file and what the file contains. If your friend has been infected, some viruses can trick all the people your friend has a conversation with to download a copy of it. This is done without your friend knowing what is happening.

A third tip for protecting yourself when using Windows Messenger would be to only use the program after a suitable firewall and antivirus program have been installed. Microsoft Windows does have a resident Internet Connection Firewall, but it is also recommended to obtain an antivirus program and frequently update the virus definitions.