Instant Messager Help - Please.

Does anyone know what the porper procedue is if you think an adult is trying to meet children throug IM?

Also, is there any way to retrieve old IM’s? Is there any way to secretly record new IM’s? Who should this be reported to? What will happen once it’s recorded? Any other questions I’ve missed?

Please don’t ask me details. All I know is that my future sister in law asked me to ask this on behalf of one of her work friends. I do know a 13 year old girl is involved and her IM friend has been given the girls home phone number :eek:

None of us really us IM so no one, including the mother, has any clue what to do now.

The details can differ from program to program, do you know which one she uses?

All the IM programs I have seen can log all old messages, complete with exact time and and user, but whether they do can be configured. If the messages are not logged, you are probably out of luck.

I see a slight problem here because, as creepy as it is, I don’t know if anything illegal happened so far.

We think she uses AOL but we’re not sure.

So, you have to configure it to log first and then you’ll have a record? So her current old messages are lost right?

She, understandably, doesn’t want to wait for something illegal to happen before reporting it. I think she’s hoping that someone with more computer knowledge will be able to investigate better than she can.

Can IM logs provide any legally-recognized evidence? I don’t know of any IM clients that log chats by default, but even if such a thing existed, it would seem easily falsifiable.

There are a number of programs available for what you ask. You can go to and use AIM as a search word to find them.

Here is one example:

If the people in question have a home network and share an Internet connection, there are even tools that can watch conversations from a different computer.

Good luck!

Yes, but the problem is that by monitoring her connection she will know his screen name and - if she is lucky - his IP address. If you want to track down the actual person and he doesn’t give his data himself you won’t get very far without support from law enforcement.

Here is how to turn on logging on 3 top IM programs:

Messenger - > Preferences -> Archive -> Check “Enable Archiving”
Probably want to adjust “Delete files older than [ 10 ] Days”
*Caveat: You must be logged in as the user to do this. It also seems as if you can’t read these archives without being logged in and going to Contacts - > Message Archive. I don’t seem to be able to find the archive on my machine.

Tools -> Options -> Messages tab -> Check the Message History box
Will probably want to change the location of the log file folder, which is an option right there.
*Caveat: You need to be logged in as the user to do this, but the logs are accessible offline.

Wow, I don’t think AIM has a logging feature anymore. I thought they used to, tho…

This girl may also use Trillian, which is a free all-in-one chat program that connects you to AIM, MSN, YAHOO, ICQ and IRC all at once. I use that and so does my 12 year old cousin (who I believe is also being logged)

Click the globe-looking icon in the bottom left -> Preferences -> Message History
Set options there
Caveat: Yes you need to be logged in here, too

I’m really surprised that there doesn’t seem to be a built-in option for saving AIM chats. You would think this would be a parental control thing that AOL would think is important. Perhaps I don’t have the most recent version and someone else can tell us how to do it.

you can download MiddleMan, which is a free AIM hack that gives you a certain amount of extra features, including logging. Here’s the website:

Also, if you are interested in obtaining his IP, go on her screen name posing as her and make an excuse to direct connect with the man. This allows you access to his IP address.

I found out some more details. They use Comcast. I’m still not sure what IM they use though. This person, whoever they are, has already called the house. They know he lives in Pennsylvania. Apparently, he’s been calling for a few months. The mother just never really looked at the phone bill. As far as she can tell, the daughter has never called him.
What they’re figuring is that if this were a kid, his parents probably would have noticed all the long distance calls. So, the mother is going to see if she can find out any info from the phone number and she’s going to notify Comcast.

Thanks for all the links. I’m going to send them all to the mother.

As previous posters have already suggested that you have to be logged in as the user to enable log funtions, this could be some problem. A way around it would be to install a key logger. Its a software that records evey single keystroke and sends the complete log to a specified email address secretly.

Googling for “iopus starr” might be helpful.