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ICQ (I-Seek-You)

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Note: Many topics at this site are reduced versions of the text in "The Encyclopedia of Networking and Telecommunications." Search results will not be as extensive as a search of the book's CD-ROM.

ICQ is an instant messaging system that informs users when someone they know is online and lets them instantly chat with one another. To participate in ICQ, you register with an ICQ server, which is connected to a broad network of servers spanning the Internet. At the time of registration, you receive a unique ICQ number and you can optionally provide personal information that allows other ICQ users to recognize you when you log on. Once you've registered, you can compile a selected list of friends and associates. ICQ uses this list to find your friends for you. When you log on, ICQ automatically detects the Internet connection, announces your presence to the Internet community, and alerts you when friends sign on or off. When someone you know logs on, you can instantly initiate a chat session; send messages; exchange files; or launch peer-to-peer applications such as games, Internet telephone calls, and videoconferences. ICQ has known security risks.

See "Instant Messaging" for more details, or refer to the ICQ Web site at

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