Spammers are always inventing new ways of bothering you (of course), and one of the newer methods is instant messenger spam. Even if you are set to "Invisible" those pesky spam-bots still manage a way to spam you.

Here are a few ways to slow down (and possibly eliminate) it altogether.

Set Profile as "Adult", Remove from Directory Listing (Yahoo Instant Messenger)

Every Yahoo user has a profile. You can see yours at http://profiles.yahoo.com/your_user_name

  1. Go to profiles.yahoo.com/your_user_name
  2. Click Sign In and the top
  3. Login using the same username/password you use for the messenger
  4. Click View My Profiles at the top
  5. Click Edit next to your Yahoo ID (you probably only have one)
  6. Click Edit Profile Information on the next page
  7. On the bottom of the next page, CHECK Designate this profile as an ‘adult profile’ and UNCHECK Add this profile to the Yahoo Member Directory
  8. Click the Save Changes button below when finished

Setting your profile as "adult" will require anyone who wants to see it (including bots) to physically log in to Yahoo first; a good spam-bot deterrent.

Setting your profile not to appear in the Yahoo Member Directory will take your profile "off the radar", so to speak.

Set "Social" to "Just Me" (Windows Live / Hotmail / MSN)

Getting to this information requires you to jump thru several hoops, but here’s how you do it:

  1. Go to http://account.live.com
  2. Sign in with your Hotmail / MSN / Live e-mail address and password (which is the same as your messenger login)
  3. On the left sidebar, click Profiles
  4. On the next page click Edit your shared profile
  5. On the next page click Social (on the left)
  6. Next to Permissions click Anyone on the internet (Note: If it already states "People I choose" or "Just You" you don’t have to modify it and you’re done)
  7. Tick Just Me
  8. Click the Save button

Bot Sentry (Pidgin)

Pidgin is a cross-platform multi-protocol instant messaging client that connects to more or less every single kind of chat service on the planet.

Bot Sentry is, without question, the best anti-spam countermeasure for instant messaging. Nothing else comes close. This program will require any user not on your contact list to answer a predefined "Anti-Spam Question" first, such as "How do you spell the number 5?" If the question is answered incorrectly, you are never bothered.

This works on all chat services connected to with Pidgin.