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Instant Messaging

Protect your child from online predators using popular messaging apps like Facebook MessengerMade popular in the 1990s with programs like ICQ, Yahoo! Instant Messenger, AIM and MSN Messenger (later called Windows Live Messenger), instant messaging programs actually predate the internet as some of the oldest real-time communications systems. The oldest program which could be considered an "instant messenger" dates to the mid-1960s.

Along with browser-based chat rooms, publicly available profiles in these instant messaging services have made them a common target for internet predators.

ICQ’s reputation as a hotspot for digital predators earned it the pejorative nickname “I Seek You”.

A local Milwaukee journalist’s encounter with a chat room predator attempting to meet his young daughter was the inspiration for the “To Catch a Predator” series which was later made into a popular recurring feature on NBC’s Dateline.

Despite the dangers, Google Chat, Facebook Messenger, Skype instant messaging and the continued popularity of internet chat rooms prove even though the platforms change, instant messaging is here to stay. A digital forensics examination can recover chat logs and message data from computers and smartphones, even when those messages have been deleted.


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