Networks are supposed to foster communication, but sometimes you don't want users communicating TOO much. Here's a classic tip about how to stop NetWare users from messaging each other directly across a network. Doing so in Windows presents a challenge. -------------------------------------------------------------
Instant messaging is as common a form of business communication today as e-mail for many organizations. The ability to send messages directly from user to user is nothing new however. You've been able to do it within network operating systems almost from the beginning.
In some situations, you might not WANT your users to be able to talk to each other. In that case, you need to be able to shut off the operating system's native message feature.
From the TechMail Archives
In the 80s and 90s if you ran a network, you probably ran NetWare. This tip comes from TechRepublic's NetWare Tip TechMail dated 12/20/1999:
Today's NetWare Tip
PREVENT USERS FROM SENDING MESSAGES
Are your users sending messages to each other across the network? It happens a lot in a school environment, for example. If this is a problem within your network, you can reconfigure the client to disable the Send Message function.
If you're running one of the more recent Windows 95/98/NT NetWare clients, users are able to send messages by right-clicking the N icon on the taskbar and selecting Send Message. To disable this function, follow these steps from the Windows desktop:
1. Right-click the Network Neighborhood icon.
2. Double-click Novell NetWare Client.
3. Enter the Advanced Settings tab.
4. Select Graphical Interface from the Parameter Groups drop-down box.
5. Select Send Message.
6. Select Off from the Settings drop-down box.
7. Click OK to accept your changes.
The feature is now disabled. Consider adding Windows policies to restrict a user from going back into the client configuration and re-enabling the option.
Disabling messaging in a Windows world
In today's network environment, you may still have some NetWare servers running, but chances are you're in a Windows shop. You can, of course, disable Windows Messenger via Group Policy and prevent other IM clients from being installed. That's one way to keep users from talking to each other.
Unfortunately, they can also still send messages directly using the Net Send or MSG commands from a command prompt. These commands send messages in a method similar to the way NetWare did it above. The messages are routed directly to the target machine.
Net Send works with the Messenger service so you can turn it off by disabling the Messenger service on the system. The MSG.EXE program presents a different problem.
MSG.EXE is a replacement for Net Send that doesn't rely on the Messenger service. If you research it on the Web, you'll find lots of confusing information, some of it calling MSG.EXE a virus or worm. It's actually a Microsoft utility for sending messages across a network, but it can be hijacked for nefarious purposes.
The easiest way to prevent users from using it is to simply remove the MSG.EXE file from the workstation. I've tried to find other information about how to block MSG.EXE messages, but I haven't been successful, including blocking certain TCP/IP ports. I've tried everything short of deleting MSG.EXE, but it still works on my test machine. Does anyone have any ideas?< -->< -->< -->