Instant Messaging

How to Combat Spim

Word puzzle containing important help-related words

Spim is spam delivered to instant messages. If you use Instant Messaging (IM) software programs like Microsoft Instant Messenger, Yahoo Instant Messenger or even Skype, if you don't take some simple precautions, you can start receiving Spim.

Some IM providers are now starting to explore ways to reduce Spim, however, until Spim can be effectively destroyed at the software source, here are two simple yet powerful ways to help avoid receiving Spim:

  • Create and use an unusual and cryptic username. Example: h5kdh3sfk47998v5fx.
  • Don't list your "handle" in your Instant Messenger's public directory.

Key tip: if you receive Spim, never respond (or you'll have your IM identity added to spammer listings and receive a lot more Spim).

Nevertheless, if you are targeted for Spim, your best option is to create another Instant Messaging identity and cancel your original identity.

Then, make sure you follow the two simple guidelines above when using your new IM identity.

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