Internet relay chat rooms are fun but can be very dangerous at the same time. Without proper precaution, IRC users put themselves at risk in more ways than one. Here are some of the risks posed by client programs and some tips on the best way to go about privacy on IRC.
First thing you need to take note is that dangers with internet relay chat are not inherent with your connection to it nor are they inherent in IRC itself. These dangers depend on:
1. What you are using your chat for.
2. How much of your personal information you are revealing to others, and
3. The people you are chatting with.
When it comes to hardware security, file sharing is probably the most dangerous. Most of these files contain spyware, adware and virus that will not only destroy your computer’s software and hardware, but might lead to illegal transfer of your sensitive information. Most IRC client programs make it possible for users to disable file sharing features which minimizes the risk. If this feature is not available, avoid sharing files even with people you know.
Another way to stay safe when using IRC client programs is to avoid sharing too much information. Do not use your real name in chat rooms. This helps you remain anonymous and no one will ever follow up on your activities. Do not provide sensitive information such as street addresses and phone numbers. If you’ve been watching the news lately, you might have noticed the many harmful things people go through simply because they shared too much information with the wrong person.
Finally, be careful not to be tricked into entering commands that are not known to you. Some users are well versed in matters concerning IRC and can easily trick you into sharing information with them or worse, destroy your computer. Maintaining privacy on IRC is of paramount importance and should not be taken lightly.
For more information on how to go about privacy on IRC, click on this URL http://www.privacy.gov.au/topics/technologies/privacy.