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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Supposedly AOL IM opens a computer up to viruses, and so it's banned from my workplace.

If I use AIM Express, does it do the same thing? Can I fight my work and allow them to let us use that during breaks, or would I lose?

Is AIM Express just as bad virusly (
) as AIM IM??

Anyone have info on that or even on aol in general?
 

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THe virus-y part of AIM is the direct connection capability. AIM Express does not allow that, so I don't think there's a problem.
 

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I dont know about viruses, but I do know that when I tried using AIM Express for about 2 weeks it repeatedly crashed my computer. I was using it at work & it became a problem when I kept having to restart my computer & couldnt use it properly for work purposes. I dont know if it does this to anyone else, but I just thought I'd warn you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It tells you they want you to do your work.


The computer I'm talking about at my work is the one in the break-room, set up for the sole purpose for us to do whatever we want with (no porn, fellas).

But no instant messaging on break? In the break-room? Is there harm in AIM Express on a break computer?

Soilman, help me out! (or anyone else!
)
 

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Soilman is not the local computer expert!

We seem to have several veggieboarders who know more about networking than soilman.

That said, I think that if you set up instant messenger without "file-tranfer" -- without the ability for anyone to just drop any file into a folder on your computer whenever they feel like (it is even possible to set up aim so they don't have to ask you first) -- then you can't get a file from them with virus or other malware in it.

Unless it might be possible to receive some type of automatically running malware if you accept html instant messages that that have "executables" embedded in them.

I know you can turn off executables in Eudora e-mail.

My question would be -- can't these same executables, containing malware, get into your computer via a browser, just as easily as via aim, an html email, or an html instant message?

Again -- I'm not the foremost expert here, on the subject of computing, networking, or computer security.
 

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Mikie, I am willing to bet that the company's policy is because a USER accepted an executable file from another user and it had a virus attached, thereby infecting the computer. You usually need to initiate some action (accept and execute a file) to have a virus infect your computer.

Regarding the ads, ... I just edited a couple of files in AIM to completely remove the ads (just has a blank grey area) and have it set to "not" act as a server in my firewall rules. No one can send me anything but a plain text message and i cannot send anyone anything but a plain text message.

If you want to turn the ads off... TechTV has a quick way to disable them and tells you exactly how to do it.

http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/a...000129,00.html

DISCLAIMER.... its probably a violation of the AIM service agreement to disable the ads... so the link above is for educational purposes only


<edited to add>You can also take further precautions by setting your Preferences to ONLY allow people on your buddy list to contact you.
 

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Awesome. That worked! Thank you Robert.

OK, now I gotta put the original aim.odl file back where it was, to preserve the agreement with America On-Line I made, when I first installed Instant Mushinger, and to preserve my honor. But it was interesting to see how easily removing the ads could be accomplished.
 

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Soilman, no problem.

Another useful site I like is called http://www.oldversion.com/

You know when sometimes you upgrade from a nice program and the newest version is subpar or all of sudden is now ad supported? This site keeps archives of older versions of the same downloadable software.

I personally could not stand the newest MSN instant messenger with those intelligence insulting Fisher-Price like smileys et al... plus the MSN LOADQM thing... I just uninstalled the new version and reinstalled the older 3.6 version without the ads. Microsoft support refused to give me a link to downloadthe old version.. then I found oldversion.com... a definite bookmark for me.
 

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The easiest way to disable AIM ads? Use Trillian. :)

http://trillian.cc

Doesn't have ads, and you can connect to AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, etc. all at once with the same program/buddy list. It's great. They have plenty of skins as well.

As for viruses, I've never heard of anyone getting a virus through normal chat. Direct connect, send file, yes. As long as you're not stupid, you should be fine. You can also "strip codes" with trillian, so all you get is plain text if you prefer.
 

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R writes: "Another useful site I like is called [old version site].

Hahaha. I always save the distribution zip-file for any program that I install. I have my own archive.

Only problem -- sometimes returning to the old version is more complicated than uninstalling the new version and then installing the old version. Your ini files or whatever may have become modified during the update process, and then they may possibly not work with the old version -- you've lost all your settings, or worse, you can't even get the program to work as the new ini files are confusing the old program, but you don't know which files it is that are the new ini files. Threre are other possible problems too, of returning to old versions. Makes me long for my MSDOS system.
 

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" As long as you're not stupid, you should be fine."

As long as you have an up-to-date a virus signature checker, and check every new file you receive, before opening it -- you should be fine. Very few viruses will arrive at your door before the virus-checkers will have it in their database! Those companies are on top of things. Virus-writers have not yet developed the kind of sophistication that burglars or car-thieves have, or even grafitti artists. Just get a virus checker. It isn't rocket science. And I'd suggest avoiding bells and whistles. F-prot for DOS works just fine for me. And it is free.

It is very simple: just don't open or execute any file until you've first checked it with F-prot. After that -- you don't have to do the "on-going virus scanning" that more sophisticated virus programs will do for you "automatically." It is a waste of time. Unlike viruses in the natural world, where benign viruses can occaisionally mutate into pathogenic viruses, benign programs just don't "mutate" into malicious programs all by themselves. It is very very very rare! Malicious people have to get ahold of them first.
 

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Soilman, one of the things I do routinely (I am very specific over what I want installed on my puter) is that I backup and export my registry, along with my entire system folder (where the DLL files are stored) and ini folder to a second drive.

DOS was sooooooooooo much more convenient. Don't like a program.. no problem... deltree path\\*.* and it was gone.

I hate Windows and the MS way of thinking so much.
 

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If you really think you may have somehow gotten a file containing a virus, before the virus-detecting companies have it in their database -- that some malevolent virus-writing person decided you would be the first person they would send their newly-written virus to -- just wait a few days before opeining or running the file. Or if you think you might be the only person your malicious acquaintance might have sent his virus to -- send it to your favorite virus-protection company with a note saying "is this a virus?" You can't get an infection by copying it, or attaching it to an outgoing email, or by renaming it, or any other way of "handling" it, that you can analogise to handling a real biological virus -- you can only get a "virus infection" on your computer by opening it or running it. You can't get a computer virus by dropping the cd it is on, on the floor, they way you can get a biological virus by dropping the petri-dish you are cultivating it in, on the floor. Even if you eat a cd or floppy disk, you can't get infected with a computer virus as a result. Tho you could get a biological virus by eating a compact disk -- say if someone blew their nose on a tissue, then used the same tissue to try and "clean" the compact disk. You should boil all compact disks before eating them.
 

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I hate aim express. At my work, it takes about half an hour to open the stupid page! I prefer their older version of quick buddy. It seems to work better for some reason.
 

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I believe they still have Quick Buddy on aim.com...you just have to look for it.
 
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