Instant messaging is booming. Almost everywhere you look, people are typing messages to friends and work colleagues at a frantic pace. These are not e-mails but rather short messages that often travel directly from one computer to another. By the end of this year, total revenues for instant messaging markets worldwide are expected to reach US$131 million and, by 2008, that number is expected to be $413 million, according to one estimate. This article describes instant messaging, examines some accompanying risks, namely issues involving security, confidentiality and the archiving of instant messages, and offers some strategies to minimize these risks.