pros and cons of instant messaging in the workplace

Instant messaging is a popular method of communicating via the Internet. Instant messaging is a form of real-time communication between two or more people. Instant messaging is different from e-mail because it is a faster mean of communication and users can see if a chosen friend or coworker is connected. Yet communicating through instant messaging is an effective in workplace there are risks associated with instant messaging. One of the most critical issues of instant messaging is viruses.

A lot of workplaces install antivirus software as a mean of protection against viruses. However it is a constant struggle to prevent the viruses from infecting computers. Due to the fact that instant messaging is communicated directly to the desktop, it sometimes difficult to prevent viruses from getting through. Yet, there are many companies that provide support products for instant messaging. The three most dominating companies are Face Time, Akonix, and Symantec.

It is important that organizations have an anti-virus installed on their network. Another critical issue in the workplace is social engineering. Attackers can infiltrate bogus IM buddy lists, to make it seem like the message originated from a IM contact to obtain phising information. Potentially, employees could divulge information about the company, not knowing the sender of the IM is a scammer. Most importantly, social engineering is a risk to a company because the attacker could attack the network of the organization.

Lastly, a critical issue in the workplace is harassment and inappropriate use. Use of instant messaging in the workplace can become detrimental cost to the organization. There is risk that employees could download software for their on personal use. Instead of employees using the IM for work related purposes they could spend valuable company time using it for there own personal use. There is also the possibility of employess transmitting data that contains inappropriate language, adult content, and harassing information.

The inappropriate use of IM in the workplace could lead to legal ramifications for the organization. In conclusion, the use of instant messaging in the workplace could be a viable and fast means of communicating for both inside the workplace and outside with vendors, etc. However, due to the many risks associated with instant messaging, the organization should consider if it is a viable fit for their organization. Organizations should have a policy and procedure in place before utilizing instant messaging as a means of communication.

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