It provides a personal way of communicating with friends and other known contacts and is very popular among teenagers as well as many adults.

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Instant Messaging (IM) or better known as Messaging, and Chat Rooms, utilize the Internet as the backbone for their functionality.

These services provide instant communication between two user’s computers either through typing messages, sending files, and or even pictures.

With this multiple service concept in mind, a teenager who registers for a free Yahoo email account will also have access to all the other features.

The personal information listed during the initial registration also becomes part of the teen’s online profile for that service.

These communications appear instantaneously on the recipient's computer once the sender presses “enter” or selects “send.” It is important to make a distinction between the various types of messaging platforms and possibilities. Messaging programs can be found for both computers and smartphones.

Computers require a small program to be downloaded and installed whereas a smartphone user can easily install an app from the manufacturer’s app store.

There are several available with some of the more popular ones being Whats App, Facebook Messenger, QQ Mobile, We Chat, Viber, and even Skype.

The old days it was Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, and AIM (America Online IM).

For safety reasons teens should set options in their account to only allow contacts from users on their buddy or messenger list and never allow files to be accepted on their computer to reduce potential virus threats from a friend’s computer.

Chat rooms are similar to Instant Messaging, (IM) but unlike direct one-to-one communication, users log on to a themed based virtual room and communicate with a group of users.

There are no verification efforts to make sure a person creating an account is who they say they are.