Secure Your Instant Messenger

Previously, I wrote an article on how to secure your web surfing using some simple Unix tools. Now, we will extend that article to include securing your instant messenging using the same setup.


> Unix variants (Linux, Cygwin, Mac OS X)

> SSH client program

> Latest version of Yahoo Messenger or MSN Messenger.

> Access to remote server with SSH server running and forwarding enabled.

> Access to Squid proxy server running.

> If your server is running Mac OS X, follow the steps outlined here and then come back here to configure your IM clients.

The real magic happens when you type in the following command in your Unix shell (replacing the username with your real login, and re placing with the servername/ip address of your home sshd/squid server):

ssh -L 3128: -f -N

MSN Messenger setup

> Open MSN Messenger and go to Tools > Options > Connection tab.

> Check the “I use a proxy server” box.

> In the Server field, type in

> In the Port field, type in 3128


Yahoo Messenger setup

> Open up Yahoo Messenger and sign in.

> Go to Messenger > Preferences and go to the Connection.section.

> Click the “Use proxies” radio button.

> Check the “Enable HTTP proxy” box.

> In the Server Name field, type in

> In the Server Port field, type in 3128


Related links: | Secure your web traffic from prying eyes

MacDevCenter | Inside SSH – part 1, part 2, part 3