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How To Use File Sharing Programs Safely

Jun 13, 2008
File share programs come with some inherent dangers that have nothing to do with the program itself. However, file sharing programs do not protect your computer from what you can pick up from other people on the network that you are connected too. It is your responsibility to protect your computer and yourself from the issues that can arise with downloading files.

There are a few things that you can do to protect yourself while using file sharing programs. The first thing is that adware and spyware are not part of most file sharing programs and if you obtain these types of files after using the program more than likely they were attached to files that you downloaded off the network itself.

There is no filtering system to protect you from this. As a result you should scan all documents prior to opening or moving the files. You should also designate only a single folder for sharing. Keep the rest of your computer private.

Viruses are often common place when downloading on P2P or file share programs. Have a good virus scanner on your computer and use it just as you would use the ad and spyware scanner, prior to opening or installing any files. This can help to protect your computer. Often times you are sharing with multiple individuals and obtaining files from multiple individuals so it may be difficult to let someone know that the file they are providing is corrupted.

You also need to protect yourself from the dangers of copyright infringement. While downloading only a few files is probably not going to get your computer noticed you should still keep in mind that downloading copyright material is prohibited and many file sharing programs have placed a number of features in their program to help you detect and determine if a file is acceptable to download.

Check the license for the files listed under creative commons and public domain are free to share however you like and you do not need to worry about sharing these types of files. There are also licenses that fall under try before you buy and allow you to listen to a song or use a file a certain number of times free of charge. After this number is reached however, further use is in violation of copyright and not condoned by the file sharing program.

Many file sharing programs often go a step further and provides users with a link to the copyright office allowing them to search through the electronic records to make sure that the file or artist you are looking for is safe to download. There are a number of ways that you can use file sharing programs safely and protect yourself as well as your computer while still enjoying the benefits that come from being able to find the files you want quickly and easily.

Remember to check for copyright, most file sharing programs provide a wealth of resources to protect yourself from infringement. Check the files, while many file sharing programs do not place any harmful files on your computer they are not liable for the files you download so be sure to scan all incoming documents and files prior to use.
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