First, there was "spam," or unsolicited bulk commercial eMail, which--besides clogging school eMail servers and wasting precious IT resources in trying to manage--also posed a threat to students with personal eMail accounts, given the graphic nature of many of these solicitations. Now, the internet industry is targeting a new threat to students and other patrons: "spim," or bulk messages sent to instant-messaging (IM) accounts and web chat rooms.

Unlike spam, "spim" uses IM--a vastly popular service among students and teens--to send solicitations in the form of web links and short text messages to people who...

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