Basic IM Tips
What is Instant Messenger? (“IM”)
Instant messaging is real-time communication. It’s a blend of e-mail and chat (since you send one to someone and get real-time communication), but better. It’s also fast eclipsing e-mail as the most popular Internet communication tool.
What is a Buddy List?
Buddy lists are a great way to keep track of friends online. They started on AOL, to allow you to track other members and know when they were online so you could contact them. Now many ISPs and other online services offer them as well. Most instant messaging services and ICQ use them, although these services might call them something else, like “notify lists.”
Some of the hazards of using instant messengers are:
1. It is an easy way for strangers to contact you.
2. It is an easy way for people to find out vital information about you.
3. If you have not set your preferences you may never know who may be watching you while you are online.
4. IM programs are never 100% secure.
5. You can receive unwanted messages which many contain live links to adult sites.
After logging onto the AIM program click your mouse where it says MY AIM, then Edit Options, Then Edit Preferences.
Click the tab named Privacy. Once inside the Privacy options there are several ways to block some people while allowing others access.
The top box says ~ Who can contact me?
Left side says:
Allow All Users to Contact me.
(If this option is checked, then anyone with AIM or AOL can message you)
Allow Only users on my Buddy List
(If this option is checked, only users who are actually on YOUR buddy list may message you)
Allow Only the Users Below
(If this option is checked, only users who are on the list below this option may message you)
To Add Users to the allow list:
Click the button that says ADD NAME, and then type the screen name in the highlighted space above the button.
On the right hand side of the Who can contact me list are three more options
Block All Users:
(If this option is checked, then No one can see that your online or message you.
Your virtually Invisible Block AIM users Only:
(If this option is checked, then only users who are logged on to AOL can message you. All AOL Instant messenger Users will be blocked)
Block the Users Below:
(If this option is checked, then only the users who are listed in the box below this option will be unable to message you) * Remember, though that these users could have multiple screen names, and if you don’t have them blocked on all their screen names, they could add you using another and still message you *
To add users to the block list, click the button that says ADD Name, and then type the screen name in the highlighted space above the button.
In the privacy options, there is also an option to allow others to know how long you have been idle.
You may or may not want to check this button.
(I personally do not allow others to know how long I have been idle)
And Finally also in the privacy preferences options, an option to: Allow users who know my e-mail address to find: My Screen name:
(checking this option will allow anyone whom has your e-mail address to find your AIM screen name)
Only that I have an account:
(checking this option will let others know that you do have an AIM account, but not your screen name or other information)
Nothing About me:
(checking this option will not allow others to know anything about you at all)
* safest option in my opinion *