Is it MSN Messenger or just Messenger?
Miscreants who create adware/malware have become adept at sending you spam using Messenger unless you have it disabled (which is suggested).
The only reason not to have Messenger disabled is if you are an a network and the system administrator uses Messenger to broadcast messages to computers on the network.
From Kim Komando:
XP Home has a simple setting that allows you to turn off Windows Messenger. In the open Windows Messenger window, click Tools>>Options. Select the Preferences tab. Clear the box next to "Run Windows Messenger when Windows starts."
Microsoft's solution is more involved for Windows XP Professional. Click Start>>Run. In the box, enter gpedit.msc. Click OK. Click Local Computer Policy>>Computer Configuration>>Administrative Templates>>Windows Components. Click Disabled>>Apply>>OK.
In the past, I have disabled Windows Messenger by changing the folder name. The Messenger folder is located in C:\Program Files. Right-click it and click Rename. Change the name to Messengerx. When you need Messenger, if ever, simply remove the x.
Outlook Express and Outlook 2002 automatically start Windows Messenger.
You may get error messages with Messenger shut down. To avoid that, change the settings in those programs.
In Outlook Express, click Tools>>Options. On the General tab, clear "Automatically log on to Windows Messenger." In Outlook 2002, click Tools>>Options. Select the Other tab. Clear Enable Instant Messaging in Windows Outlook.
If you have Adaware installed on your computer (which you definitely should), there is an Adaware add-on that will disable Messenger. It is called "Messenger Control" and you can download it here:http://www.lavasoft.com/In order to protect yourself against becoming infected by viruses make sure your resident anti-virus program has the most current updates. Also make sure that your operating system, Windows XP Home is updated to SP2.
Neglecting to have either your virus definitions for your anti-virus program or Microsoft Critical Updates current will make your computer much more susceptable to becoming infected by viruses and other malware.
Edited by Enthusiast, 04 February 2006 - 10:19 PM.