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Microsoft’s Instant Messenger

As to the personal computer operator, how has Microsoft best addressed these security issues? Instant messaging and personal e-mails accounts are always the greatest risk factors or were until the invasion of spyware laden popup ads. Microsoft’s Instant Messenger had maintained for awhile as one of the leading chat forms until the production of AOL (America Online) Messenger and also Yahoo Messenger. The advancement in all three has grown significantly in the last decade, allowing instant e-conversations between people in all parts of the world.

Protection factors are built into the system where the conversation must be consequential without disclosing any more personal information than the participants choose to reveal. Chat rooms are more wide open and can be accessed by anyone with a computer and a handle but this is within complete public viewing as where the Messenger programs are in a closed format except to parties that have been granted permission by the user.

Microsoft’s Hotmail free e-mail was profoundly received by millions of people until the antitrust lawsuit by the U. S. government. As a result of that lawsuit, Microsoft was forced to relinquish sole control on Internet Explorer and placed on the market the Microsoft Explorer. Hotmail eventually

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became inaccessible to new customers and MSN. Com was used in its place. Microsoft removed a great deal of their free internet options and as more and more ISP companies developed, then the consumer had a much broader choice than just Microsoft.

Though Microsoft Windows remained the most widely used computer program, Microsoft was now in direct competition with other companies to attract the average consumer to their product with the choices that would best serve that consumer’s need. Windows Update was developed to give free access to the internet surfer for stronger security within their computer and fire walling (a method against spyware and viruses) became a common known name. The choices of anti-spyware programs are almost endless, some of which are actually spyware bandits disguised as spyware annihilators.

An unsuspecting computer user can find them besieged by spyware instantly by going to a web site infiltrated with it. Popup will occasionally surface offering to scan the computer for spyware and if such is detected, then for a fee, the anti-spyware program can be secured. What is never revealed that the spyware is never totally eliminated from the computer’s files or components and so it is a revolving, vicious cycle that the user is forced through that always eventually leads to the computer having to finally be placed in a computer repair service and professionally cleaned of the spyware.

The fee was a waste of money. Most computer technicians advise that a spyware protector be installed upon purchase of the computer as in the same case as anti-virus software to keep the computer protected from the very first day of use. There are a few reputable free spyware software offered through the internet for free downloads and do an admirable job of protection from spyware but the safest bet is to purchase one from a known company, in this example; Microsoft Spyware which charges a yearly fee but does a good job of protection the computer.

This program is but one of many programs developed by Microsoft and made available to regular consumer to protect them on the internet. Returning to the subject of MSN Messenger and Hotmail E-mail, the protection factors are in place in the Messenger system and Hotmail has a MacAfee anti-virus program in place to scan all incoming e-mail of possible virus threats. AOL and Yahoo have also placed these security measures in the Instant Messaging and e-mail programs.

(Reference: Instant Messaging in the Enterprise: IM Has Great Promise, and New Capabilities Are Coming to Market. but Familiar Issues-Security and Interoperability-Still Remain to Be Solved Magazine article by Michael D. Osterman; Business Communications Review, Vol. 33, January 2003) As before mentioned, the convenience and speed of DSL or wireless has greatly increased the general consensus of pleasure in using the internet. Since the introduction of the laptop computer, people are able to be a great deal more portable and the same applies to business operation as well.

In a modern age where Broadband or Wireless seems to offer the most accessibility in communication from any given location and not just within the office infrastructure, then once more Microsoft seems to have a better capacity of compatibility with this type of internet connection. Though most business office function off of a mass of desktop computers, the convenience of laptops or wireless notepad computers opens the door to expanded business hours for key personnel or supervisors to accommodate the vast differences of the world’s business time zones allowing business to continue on beyond the set business hours of each office.

Wan internet connections can accomplish this as well but the speed and portability of the wireless computers gives a much broader range to complete business. It has been noted that the advance of the wireless connection can cause greater access to security issues and in a report entitled WEP Security Statement was done by WECA (Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance). It is quoted below as to the findings on this subject.

“The statement acknowledges WEP’s shortcomings and recommends that users supplement their Wi-Fi installations with additional security methods, including session keys, MAC address filtering and secure VPNs. Vendors are recasting their Wi-Fi products and adjusting their marketing messages, and some are working (together with other IEEE and WECA members) on another interim fix for the WEP installed base. As the technologists undertake what amounts to a complete overhaul of 802. 11b security, market analysts are maintaining rosy market forecasts (Figures 1 and 2).

But can Wi-Fi solve its security problems and, at the same time, stay on the fast track? Or will the interim security fixes and the “framework” nature of 802. 1x and 802. 11i confuse customers and encourage vendors to promote their proprietary solutions–or other wireless technologies–instead of Wi-Fi? ” (Reference: Securing a Place for Wi-Fi Lans: Market Projections Remain Rosy as Vendors Shake off Wep Worries, Strap on More Security and Revise the Standards Magazine article by Sandy Borthick; Business Communications Review, Vol. 31, November 2001)

There are many areas that Microsoft is doing a great deal to improve the security in their products. With such a broad range of different aspects of the internet to consider, it is a large task at very best. Opinions vary as to whether or not Microsoft has made sufficient effort to protect the consumers of their products against cyber crime. With the amount of competition that exists within the market, then a company such as Microsoft must be diligent in this aspect. All referenced material has been listed and quotations given directly to the correct source.

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