In our highly interconnected and fast-paced digital world, instant messaging has become an indispensable tool for business professionals of all kinds. Through instant messaging platforms, people often find themselves answering teammates’ questions, providing project updates, and sharing photos of Tiger, the team mascot.

Tiger, a 'team mascot' (a.k.a. your colleague's adorable doggie) on Halloween
Tiger, a ‘team mascot’ (a.k.a. your colleague’s adorable doggie) on Halloween

Instant messaging offers convenience, efficiency, and real-time communications that don’t result in email overload.

Instant messaging security

However, increasing rates of cyber crime mean that robust instant messaging security is paramount. Elevate your instant messaging security, safeguard sensitive information, and get back to confidently using these platforms for information exchange within your organization. Leverage these instant messaging security methodologies.

Step 1. It really goes without saying among security professionals, but to restate the obvious: Select a well-regarded and established messaging platform that uses end-to-end encryption. If possible, identify platforms that adhere to recognized security standards. This elevates platforms’ levels of trustworthiness.

Step 2. Leverage platforms that offer two-factor authentication or multi-factor authentication. You’re likely well-aware (although maybe you haven’t thought about it in relation to instant messages), extra authentication procedures reduce the risk of unauthorized access and hacked accounts.

Step 3. Update and patch messaging applications on a regular basis. Updates and patches are packed with software enhancements and bug fixes. Missing this step can leave your account, messages or other users exposed to potential threats. Hackers are always on the prowl for out-of-date and unpatched systems to compromise.

Step 4. Share information about instant messaging security with colleagues and employees. Within your cyber security awareness trainings, update your teams on security best practices related to instant communication platforms. Describe the risks associated with instant messaging and the mitigation measures that individuals can apply.

Be sure to emphasize vigilance around social engineering tactics, as these could result in device, network or wider enterprise compromise. Provide a means through which employees can report suspicious activities to the IT department.

Step 5. Consider using and advocating for instant messaging platforms that provide users with control over data and data privacy. For example, some platforms automatically delete messages after a specified period of time. If you, your teams or your larger group of colleagues tend to exchange sensitive business details over messages, this feature may be useful.


Instant messaging has significantly improved the simplicity and seamlessness of business communications. At the same time, instant messaging also presents security threats. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can enhance your instant messaging security and better protect your workplace from online dangers. A proactive approach to cyber security can make all the difference.

For more timely and actionable cyber security tips, please see CyberTalk.org’s past coverage. Lastly, to receive more timely cyber security news, insights and cutting-edge analyses, please sign up for the cybertalk.org newsletter.