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Chat Room & Instant Messaging

 Chat rooms are virtual places on the Internet where people with common interests communicate with each other. A lot of chat rooms have basic rules that govern appropriate or agreed upon behavior and content. Sometimes (but not always!) someone acts as a moderator. This person monitors the conversation(s) and tries to insure that users

Instant Messaging (IM) on the other hand, is a place where people can communicate one-on-one. While it was used a lot for entertainment purposes (i.e. within a chat room you have the capability to ask someone to speak privately through IM), instant messaging has become a useful communication tool for corporate and university employees. When used responsibly and securely, instant messaging is a great way to communicate within a department or work environment.    The use of both chat rooms and instant messaging are open doors for security issues. Neither form of communication should be considered private. DO NOT use them to discuss or share personal, sensitive, or confidential information. Aside from the dangers of communicating with people who pretend to be someone they are not, people who use chat rooms or IM are vulnerable to attack. Somebody may be watching the conversation without the knowledge of the users. In short, the use of chat rooms or IM brings in people who will exploit others without remorse.    When using instant messaging socially or frequenting chat rooms, keep the following things in mind: