Sunday, January 20, 2008

Peer to Peer Risks

Copyright Infringement Liability
P2P technology makes it possible to share all kinds of information. Some information is protected by copyright, which means that you generally need the copyright owner's permission before you make it available to other P2P users. Popular music, movies, games, and software are often protected by copyright.

Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines and even criminal penalties. Some copyright owners have filed civil lawsuits against individuals that they believe unlawfully distributed large numbers of copyrighted songs.

Data Security
P2P software programs let users share information with other users around the globe. They allow users to view the contents of each others' "shared folders." If you have personal information in your shared folder, anyone else using the same P2P software has access to it. Another user could use that information to commit identity theft, or to embarrass you.
Please pay attention to the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don't put information in your shared folder that you aren't comfortable sharing with strangers.

In particular, do not put tax, medical, banking, correspondence or any other sensitive personal files in the same folder as files that are shared via your P2P software program.

Unwanted Exposure to Pornography
P2P software may give users, including children, access to pornography. Some files containing pornography may be deliberately mislabeled to attract young or otherwise unsuspecting viewers. Distributing illegal pornography is a serious crime. Users whose shared folders contain illegal pornographic material, particularly child pornography, could be subject to criminal prosecution.

Files downloaded from the Internet using applications such as Ares P2P may contain spyware that can track your online activity or control your computer. These files will typically be disguised and be undetected by average computer users. Ares P2P is a free opensource project and doesn't include any bundled spyware or adware.

Files downloaded from the Internet using applications such as Ares P2P may carry computer trojans, worms, or viruses that can potentially damage your computer or cause other harms. These files will typically be mislabeled to disguise their true purpose. .

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