05-24-06 - For years now, getting the most popular music has been just a click away with file sharing programs. While there are many different names, they all do the same things including opening the door for danger.
Social security numbers, bank accounts, and insurance information are just some of the documents that more and more people are conveniently saving to their computer hard drives. Limewire, Kazaa, Morpheus, and BearShare are just some of the names of peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
Most users consider the networks a way to get free music, but there is a danger you only know about if you read. When installed, all of the programs prompt a lengthy agreement that most people simply click “I agree.” But if they took the time to read the fine print, they may be surprised.
By agreeing to the default settings of the program, you in essence open up a portal to your entire system for others to peek into, and there is a not a legal system in the world that can stop them. Calculating hackers are given a clean path to find vital information, send virus, and monitor your internet surfing. In addition to all of the privacy risks you run, most of the programs are used for illegally downloading of copyrighted material.
There are some legal versions that have been developed, however even those programs require you to open up a piece of your computer for others to see. If you have one of the programs already on your computer, protect yourself by right clicking the individual folders you do not want and going to the sharing and security tab, also any important information should be printed off and physically kept, not stored on your system’s hard drive.
Although file sharing is a legal technology, the downloading of copyrighted materials has led to several lawsuits from copyright owners.