Did you know that billions of instant messages (IMs) are sent each day in the United States alone?  That means information of all kinds is being sent and received by your devices on a near constant basis.  Some of that information is simple enough, a quick “Hey!” or “Did you see that email?”, but some of that information is more detailed… “Hey real quick, I’ve got to access this report, what’s your password?” or maybe, “Hey I’ve forgotten my password, I thought it was S3curityR!$k, am I spelling that right?”

Messages like these are being sent back and forth every day so it’s important to understand the risks of having instant communication at our fingertips.  Just like a conversation, once your messages are sent, that information is out of your hands; and just like a conversation, your instant messages can be overheard too.

Whether a co-worker you didn’t hear behind you just saw a message meant for a specific colleague or you’ve just received sensitive information (it could be something as simple as a name and a birthday), all of this data has to be transported throughout the world wide web to arrive in your IM client.  And just like a verbal conversation, the Internet is full of listening ears, waiting to hear what you have to say.

Don’t get us wrong… we’re a part of those multi-billion IMs each day too, and we think it’s a great technology.  But, it’s important to be mindful of what you’re sending.  Keep your IMs short, sweet, and to the point, and you’re already putting your best foot forward when it comes to your cybersecurity wellness.

First published in our February 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter