For MSN Messenger, is there a way to archive my conversations when I use a public computer or signed in somewhere as a guest user? Can I send the history to my computer automatically without opening the received files of that computer, keep it somewhere in the server somehow? (Without having to copy/paste it to my e-mail every time.)
Well, in the strictest sense, the answer is no … MSN Messenger archives reside on the local machine, or perhaps the local network, period.
You can archive your conversations, and then take them with you, but a) it’s not as easy as what you’re asking for, and b) you may not want to do it, anyway.
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MSN Messenger allows you to specify where the local archives are to be placed. Normally they’re placed in a directory underneath your “My Documents” directory (with MSN Messenger 7.5, at least). You can customize that location in Tools, Options, and you may even be able to place them on another computer … on the local network.
That’s not very helpful if you’re using a public computer, and the only other computers on the local network are other public computers. Once you return home, you can’t get to those computers and that network.
So the only place you can save your conversations is on the local computer, or on the local network. How do you get to them at home? You can’t, directly. The easiest alternative is, when you are done with your conversation, to locate the files that contain the history (the directory containing them is listed in your Messenger’s Tools Options dialog), and email them to yourself as attachments. Then, when you get home, download those attachments to a safe place. MSN Messenger stores the message history in “XML” format, which means that they may be a little messy to ready, but at least you’ll have them.
But wait! Before you do any of that, consider carefully whether you want to keep a message history at all when you’re using someone else’s or a public computer.
Do you remember to erase the history when you’re done? If not, you’ve just left your entire conversation for just about anyone to read. And even if you do delete it, someone can come along after you, and “undelete” the saved messages file using data recovery tools.
- If you’re really concerned about someone seeing your private IM conversations, don’t use someone else’s computer, and don’t use public/shared computers.
- Make sure that “save history” is turned off in MSN Messenger if you do use someone else’s computer.
- If you must have a record of your conversation, and you must do it on someone else’s computer, then a) mail it to yourself when you are done, and b) delete saved log from the computer before you leave.
I don’t want to sound alarmist, because in most cases, no one really cares what you are saying on-line. But, to be fair, sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where they do. When you use someone else’s computer, you have no idea how secure it is. If your privacy really matters to you, you probably don’t want to use it at all.