1. Identify IM usage. Executives should first determine whether employees are using IM, and how heavily. If they find employees are using IM before the company has a management plan, they may consider addressing their IM risks sooner rather than later.2. Create a plan. Before determining how to manage IM, companies need to decide what role IM will play in corporate communications and how it maps into the company's overall business goals. Then they'll need to determine which employees will use IM and how.

3. Manage IM from the corporate infrastructure level. Rogue IM use is the source of most IM security risks. By routing all IM traffic through a central server, companies can manage IM at the corporate infrastructure level. IT managers can also map user screen names to corporate IDs to eliminate anonymity and ID spoofing problems.

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