The Risks of P2P File Sharing

by Barbara J. Feldman on June 2, 2008

With the use of computers and any type of P2P file sharing growing you may want to know what the risks could be of P2P file sharing. P2P file sharing can be used for any number of different files that you may have to share or want to find. P2P File sharing can be used to share files for music, games or other types of software. Because P2P file sharing requires you to connect with other computers using the same software you can be leaving yourself and your personal computer open to many risks that can be associated with P2P file sharing. Here we will take a look at the different risks of P2P file sharing.

Perhaps the biggest risks of P2P file sharing would be someone else on the P2P network copying your private files. Because of how P2P file sharing is used by connecting to other computers on the network you are leaving yourself open to having any or all personal files copied over. A hacker who is good enough and determined enough could find all personal information, including bank accounts, where you live and many other personal files that you have not intended to make public. Having any of your personal information made public is one of the biggest risks of P2P file sharing.

Another big risk you will encounter with P2P file sharing is copyright laws. This risk has to do with files that you are receiving or even files you may be downloading to share with others. You may not be able to share some files because you are breaking copyright laws that prevent you from copying and sharing the files. If you download or upload content that you have not bought you are breaking copyright laws. There are many copyrights that can be unknowingly broken when you are sharing the files. In some cases you may pay for the file and still have broken some copyright laws. The penalties for breaking copyright laws are very harsh. P2P file sharing on reputable sites may not be as risky but you should still use caution if you do not directly own the files.

Getting a virus on your computer is also a risk of P2P file sharing. Whenever you open up your computer to any type of outside programs you are leaving your computer open for incoming viruses.P2P is one of those times where you are leaving your computer open to outside influences. When you are using P2P file sharing you are getting files from another computer or network which leaves your computer more susceptible to getting any viruses during the time you are using the P2P file share network. Getting a virus on your computer can become a huge risk of P2P file sharing. Sometimes your computer will get a virus and you won’t know until after all the damage is done. Viruses could end up ruining your computer or other files that you felt was safe on your personal computer.

One of the fastest growing risks you can encounter when using a P2P file sharing is accidentally downloading pornography that was labeled as something else. Many of the pornography websites are purposely mislabeling their files and allowing them to be downloaded to safer websites used for P2P file sharing. This is illegal on their part but you will need to be the one to prove you did not mean to download the pornography. Any many states it is illegal to download any type of pornography and can be sentenced to extensive jail terms.

There are many different risks associated with P2P file sharing. It is up to you to use reputable P2P file sharing sites. Sometimes you will need to pay for theP2P service but to lessen the risks is a good reason to pay for the service. Take precautions to protect your computer, your personal information and your life.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "The Risks of P2P File Sharing." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 2 Jun. 2008. Web. 1 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/418/the-risks-of-p2p-file-sharing/ >.