P2P Security Risks

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P2P Security Risks

Post by Rdsok » Sat Dec 24, 2005 12:03 pm

P2P Security Risks

P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing is a very popular and easy way for users to share music, movies, videos, and other files over the Internet. However, using P2P software is very risky, because it makes you very susceptible to infection, attack, exposure of personal or company information, and even copyright infringement issues

Installation Of Malware
If you use P2P applications, it is difficult, if not impossible, to verify that the sources of the shared files are safe. P2P applications are often used by attackers to transmit malware (malicious software). The files may contain spyware, viruses, trojan horses, or worms. When you download the files, your computer can become infected. Currently, experts have estimated that over 70% of the programs shared on P2P networks contain some sort of malware.

Exposure Of Sensitive Information
When using P2P applications, you may unknowingly give other users access to personal or sensitive information that is stored on your computer. People may be able to access your financial or medical data, personal documents, sensitive corporate information, or other private information. If your computer contains other people's or companies' information, you may even become legally liable if their information gets released in this way.

Vulnerability To Unwanted Attacks
Many P2P applications require you to open specific ports on your firewall to send and receive the shared files through. However, by opening those ports, you may give attackers access to the information on your computer or enable them to attack your computer by taking advantage of any security vulnerabilities that may exist.

Self-Induced Denial Of Service
Downloading files with these applications causes a significant amount of traffic over your internet connection, it also relies on certain processes to happen on your computer. This activity may adversely limit or even block your access to the Internet while you are running these types of programs.

Prosecution Due To Copyright Infringement
Downloading or sharing copyrighted software, music or videos is illegal. If you download them, even unknowingly, you may be faced with fines or other legal actions.

This article lists only a few of the risks that P2P programs can open you up too. I urge you to strongly consider not using these types of programs. If you still choose to use them, research what the best security settings are for the P2P program you choose using your favorite search engine, use a very good firewall, run daily scans of your system with your antivirus and antispyware applications, constantly monitor the activity and file content in the shared directories to help ensure you don't violate any laws or expose your own data here.

With some help from ComputerBob, the duplicate redundant repetitive wording is gone :lol: ( since its not in the article, I thought I'd do it here )

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Post by ComputerBob » Sat Dec 24, 2005 11:56 pm

I'm happy to announce that the final version of Randy's post is now P2P Security Risks, his 4th excellent contribution to my site's Guest Articles section.
ComputerBob - Making Geek-Speak Chic™
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