Using illegal file-sharing programs exposes users to the risk of unwelcome content such as viruses and violent images. File-sharing software can also compromise your privacy and security by opening up your computer and sharing what’s stored on it with the outside world. There are some basic steps you can take to prevent your Internet connection being used for illegal file-sharing and to secure your Internet connection to ensure it is not being used in ways you have not authorized. Here are just a few ideas:
- Install virus and spyware-protection software (examples include Norton, Kapersky, McAfee, Webroot and others). Visit the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team website to obtain information on how to use this software and other ways to secure your home Wi-Fi network to ensure others are not accessing the Internet through your connection.
- Get educated. Malicious users utilize some P2P networks to spread viruses, worms and Trojan horses (programs enabling hackers to gain control of your computer). Illegal file transfers can also expose your private computer files to strangers, increasing the risk of identity theft. To learn more about these risks, see the U.S. Federal Trade Commission webpage.
- Visit the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT’s) “Music Download Warning List” for tips on how to identify potentially deceptive fee-based download services.
- Contact your ISP to get advice about the effects of using illegal file-sharing programs. There is also information in the “About Music Copyright Notices” section of this website.
- There are a multitude of legal, affordable and hassle free places where you can find your favorite music in high quality formats. Click here for a list of a number of legal and safe sites where content is available for downloading.