Christian BoyLove Forum #65564
Nothing has changed, its just a myth so widely held that most people don't think to question it. But it is a myth which can be thoroughly disproved by anyone with the know-how.
Disproving it thoroughly would require technical details that would bore most of us to sleep. But here's a quick and easy (though less thorough) proof you can try out for yourself:
1. Fire up your instant messenger and start having some conversations on it and whatever else you normally do.
2. Open up a command prompt and type "netstat -bf" (without the quotes).
3. Now you have a list of every IP your computer is connecting to along with which application started that connection. Look at all the connections that were started by your instant messenger and you will be able to verify that it is only communicating with a server controlled by the IM provider and not directly with the other users machine.
The fact is that, from the perspective of giving out your IP address, Instant Messengers are far safer than e-mail.