Tag Archives: music

Peer to Peer File Sharing, Very Cool But…

You should consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved in Peer to Peer file sharing.

Peer to Peer file sharing sounds promising, right? Maybe, but make sure that you consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved. The number of times I have been called upon to rescue a friend’s computer because of system damage caused by peer to peer downloading, has convinced me to give this form of file sharing an automatic “thumbs down”.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties.

Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties.

I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

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Filed under Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Internet Safety, Online Safety, Peer to Peer, Windows Tips and Tools

How Risky is Peer to Peer (P2P) File Sharing?

image Albert Einstein has been quoted as stating “Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing”.

Nowhere, in my computing experience, has this been more true than in the type of peer-to-peer file sharing where users consider themselves to have scored a coup after having downloaded the latest movie, the latest video game, or the latest music CD, ostensibly for nothing.

The number of times I have been called upon to rescue a friend’s computer because of system damage caused by peer-to-peer downloading, has convinced me to give this form of file sharing, on public file-sharing networks, an automatic “thumbs down”.

Used legitimately of course, peer-to-peer file sharing can provide computer users with access to a wealth of information.

All that’s required to participate in Peer to Peer file sharing is the installation of the necessary file sharing software such as LimeWire, FrostWire, or Ares, that connects your computer to an informal network of other computers running file sharing software.

Millions of users could be connected to each other through this type of software at any one time. File sharing applications are often free, and easily accessible as a download on the Internet.

Risk factors

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive. Information such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Can this really happen? You bet.

Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties. Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 17, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that your children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled, and you, or your children, can unintentionally download these files.

Elsewhere in this Blog you can read an article on child safety on the Internet, and download a free parental control program that comes highly recommended.

Go to: Free Internet Child Protection – Parental Control Bar.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties.

Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties. I can assure you that spyware can often be difficult to detect and remove.

Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download, free software that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Elsewhere on this Blog you can read an article on free anti-malware programs, including anti-virus software, and you can download those that may suit your needs.

Go to: Free Windows Software You Can’t Afford Not to Have!

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

For more on the potential dangers involved in peer to peer file sharing, check out the FBI’s web site.

If you decide peer to peer file sharing is for you, the following free applications are spyware free when downloaded from reputable download sites such as Download.com, or Sourceforge.net.

LimeWire: Download at Download.com

Ares: Download at Sourceforge.net

FrostWire: Download at Download.com

19 Comments

Filed under Application Vulnerabilities, Don't Get Hacked, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety for Children, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Parenting Help, Peer to Peer, Privacy, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

Western Digital WD TV – Impressive!

Western Digital TV 3 If you are a computer media junky like yours truly, getting that media to your analog and digital television can present a challenge. Like in, how does one do it?

Wonder no more my friends. Western Digital has a great affordable answer to this challenge.

I bought the Western Digital WD TV set top box about a month ago, and have been putting it to the test with various types of computer type media. To put it bluntly, I’m impressed with this unit. In the past 30 days, I have yet to throw a file at it that it won’t play or view.

For those of you with analog TVs, it features a composite cable output. For those of you with up to 1080P high def TVs, the WD comes with an hdmi hookup.

Western Digital TV

Because my TVs are somewhat older and don’t utilize an hdmi input, I have been using the composite cables to view the media. Once you have the WD TV hooked up, you need only to copy your media files to a flash drive (thumb drive), or any USB connectible storage medium. I have tried it on both a portable WD hard drive, and a flash drive, and both work flawlessly.

Types of media:

  • Music
  • Video
  • Pictures

Pros:

  • Plug and play. If you can hook up the cables, this thing pretty much guides you to the point of playing your media. Very user friendly.
  • View’s nearly every media format out there. I have yet to have it reject any media.
  • Comes with remote
  • Small footprint

Cons:

  • Remote is small – you could lose it.
  • Slight delay sometimes with selecting media with remote – this is a very minor con.
  • If you lose the remote, you will have to buy a new one because it is the only way to control the unit.

Rating: 10/10. Simply put, WD TV hits on all cylinders. It is simple to use, plays almost all formats of media, and is very affordable for what it does. Highly Recommend.

Price as tested: $90 from Newegg.com

Guest Writer: This is a guest post by Glenn Taggart of The Crazy World of G, who brings a background as a high level super user, to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Glenn’s site at The Crazy World of G.

For another take on this amazing product, checkout “Review of the Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player” by fellow Blogger Rick Robinette, at his site What’s On My PC.

3 Comments

Filed under Digital Media, Geek Software and Tools, High Definition Video Players, Interconnectivity, USB

Portable Apps Suite Is Sweet – USB Office

USB Stick 1 With Portable Apps Suite, (free to use, free to copy, and free to share), you can carry your favorite portable computer programs with you on your USB flash drive, iPod, or portable hard drive, to school, work, or your hotel while you’re taking that much deserved vacation!

The Portable Apps Suite allows you to play your media files, browse the net, compose documents, or check your email on the road. The applications can be used on any Windows computer, and on shut down, to insure your privacy, will not leave any traces on the host computer.

PAS is a collection of portable applications which includes, ClamWin Portable (antivirus), Mozilla Firefox Portable Edition (web browser), Gaim Portable (instant messaging), OpenOffice.org Portable (office suite) compatible with Microsoft Word files,

Sudoku Portable (puzzle game), Mozilla Sunbird Portable Edition (calendar/task manager) and Mozilla Thunderbird Portable Edition (email client), all preconfigured to work portably.

portable-apps

You can install any of three variations of Portable Apps Suite based on your preferences or your USB drive’s capacity.

Standard Suite – 260MB – All applications as noted above

Lite Suite – 105MB – AbiWord Portable substituted for Open Office

Base Suite – Basic Menu Program – add only the applications you choose

All versions of the Portable Apps Suite include the integrated Portable Apps Menu and the Portable Apps Backup utility, along with a set of custom icons, auto play configuration, folders, and a quick start shortcut.

System Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP/Vista, and Wine under Linux/UNIX/BSD/Mac OS X

Download at: PortableApps.com

Additional portable applications offered for free download at PortableApps.com.

Accessibility

Firefox Accessibility Extension – Make Firefox more accessible

On-Screen Keyboard Portable – Easily access an on-screen keyboard

Virtual Magnifying Glass Portable – A full-featured screen magnifier

Development

Notepad++ Portable – A full-featured text editor with syntax highlighting

Nvu Portable & KompoZer Portable – The easy-to-use Nvu web editor

XAMPP – Apache, mySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, in one package

Games

DOSBox Portable – classic DOS games to go

Mines-Perfect Portable – a classic hunt-for-mines game with advanced features

PokerTH Portable – classic Texas Hold Em style poker at its best

Sudoku Portable – the wildly popular and addictive puzzle game

Graphics & Pictures

GIMP Portable – Photo and Image Editor

Internet

FileZilla Portable – the full-featured FTP client

FireFTP Extension (for Firefox) – a lightweight extension

Miranda IM Portable – chat with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users in a customizable interface

Mozilla Firefox, Portable Edition – the award-winning web browser that’s safe and secure

Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition – the handy email client

Nvu Portable & KompoZer Portable – the easy-to-use webpage editor

Pidgin Portable – chat with AOL, MSN and Yahoo users in an easy-to-use interface

PuTTY Portable – lightweight telnet and SSH client

Sage Extension (for Firefox) – A full-featured RSS extension

WinSCP Portable – SFTP, FTP and SCP client

Music & Video

Audacity Portable – A simple audio editor and recorder

MPlayer Portable – Full-featured movie player with support for most video formats

VirtualDub Portable – video processing and capture utility

VLC Media Player Portable – An easy to use media player that plays most audio and video formats

Office

AbiWord Portable – a lightweight word processor compatible with Microsoft Word files

Lightning Extension (for Thunderbird) – A lightweight extension for your calendar and tasks

Mozilla Sunbird, Portable Edition – Calendar and task management with a familiar interface

Mozilla Thunderbird, Portable Edition (Address Book) – Email client’s built-in address book with import/export functions

OpenOffice.org Portable – word processor, spreadsheet, presentations with Microsoft compatibility

Sumatra PDF Portable – a lightweight PDF viewer

Utilities

SwissMemory3

7-Zip Portable – File archiver and compressor

ClamWin Portable – Antivirus on the go

Command Prompt Portable – Simple link to a customizable command prompt

Eraser Portable – securely delete files and data

KeePass Password Safe Portable – Secure, easy-to-use password manager

PortableApps.com Backup – integrated backup utility bundled with the platform

PortableApps.com Menu – integrated start menu bundled with the platform

Toucan – backup, sync and encrypt for advanced users

Download at: PortableApps.com

2 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Mobile Applications, Open Source, Portable Applications, Productivity Software, Software, USB, Windows Tips and Tools

Free FrostWire P2P – LimeWire Pro in Disguise?

FrostWire (newest version: 4.17), July 2008, is free, open source Peer to Peer software, for the Gnutella and BitTorrent protocols.

To insure broad appeal, FrostWire is a multi platform program running on Windows Vista, XP, 2000, NT, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Linux, and some flavors of Unix.

This application has been developed by the open source community to avoid the threat of potential legal action faced by LimeWire, from which it has been forked, and to maintain the freedom that P2P users have come to expect (right or wrong), in the sharing of copyrighted material. Some reviewers have compared FrostWire to the old Napster, the controversial file-sharing pioneer.

FrostWire includes all of the free LimeWire version’s functionality as well as a number of the features of LimeWire Pro including multi-threading downloads, and Turbo-Charged connections. An added benefit in using FrostWire; you won’t have to put up with LimeWire’s nag screen or ads.

Fast facts:

· Open-source

· Firewall-to-firewall transfers

· Built-in community chat

· Connects to more sources

· Creative commons license support

· Broadband network connection

· Junk result filters

· Turbo-Charged download speeds

· iTunes integration

· Gnutella support

· BitTorrent support

· Proxy Support

If P2P file sharing is one of your interests, then you’ll find that this program should meet all of your needs.

Download at: Download.com

You should consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved in Peer to Peer file sharing however.

Peer to Peer file sharing sounds promising, right? Maybe, but make sure that you consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved. The number of times I have been called upon to rescue a friend’s computer because of system damage caused by peer to peer downloading, has convinced me to give this form of file sharing an automatic “thumbs down”.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully.

If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties.

Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. If you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties.

I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program.

Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting.

What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

1 Comment

Filed under Freeware, Interconnectivity, Malware Advisories, Open Source, Peer to Peer, Privacy, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Windows Tips and Tools

Peer to Peer (P2P) File Sharing – Risks You Need to Know!

Every day, millions of computer users share files online. Whether it is music, games, or software, file-sharing can provide computer users with access to a wealth of information.

All that’s required to participate in Peer to Peer file sharing is the installation of the necessary file sharing software such as LimeWire, FrostWire, or Ares, that connects your computer to an informal network of other computers running file sharing software.

Millions of users could be connected to each other through this type of software at any one time. File sharing applications are often free, and easily accessible as a download on the Internet.

Sounds promising, right? Maybe; but make sure that you consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved. The number of times I have been called upon to rescue a friend’s computer because of system damage caused by peer to peer downloading, has convinced me to give this form of file sharing, on public file-sharing networks, an automatic “thumbs down”.

Risk factors

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully. If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive. Information such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Can this really happen? You bet.

Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties. Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. I f you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled, and you or your children, can unintentionally download these files.

Elsewhere in this Blog you can read an article on child safety on the Internet, and download a free parental control program that comes highly recommended.

Go to: Free Internet Child Protection – Parental Control Bar.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties. I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove.

Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Elsewhere on this Blog you can read an article on free anti-malware programs, including anti-virus software, and you can download those that may suit your needs.

Go to: Free Windows Software You Can’t Afford Not to Have!

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program. Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting. What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

For more on the potential dangers involved in peer to peer file sharing, check out the FBI’s web site.

If you decide peer to peer file sharing is for you, the following free applications are spyware free when downloaded from reputable download sites such as Download.com, or Sourceforge.net.

LimeWire: Download at Download.com

Ares: Download at Sourceforge.net

FrostWire: Download at Download.com

7 Comments

Filed under Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety, Internet Safety for Children, Internet Safety Tools, Malware Advisories, Online Safety, Parenting Help, Peer to Peer, Privacy, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, trojans, Viruses, Windows Tips and Tools

Free FrostWire – Best P2P (Peer to Peer) Application

FrostWire (newest version: 4.17), July 2008, is free, open source Peer to Peer software, for the Gnutella and BitTorrent protocols. To insure broad appeal, FrostWire is a multi platform program running on Windows Vista, XP, 2000, NT, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, Linux, and some flavors of Unix.

This application has been developed by the open source community to avoid the threat of potential legal action faced by LimeWire, from which it has been forked, and to maintain the freedom that P2P users have come to expect (right or wrong), in the sharing of copyrighted material. Some reviewers have compared FrostWire to the old Napster, the controversial file-sharing pioneer.

The project was started in September 2005 by members of the open-source community, after LimeWire’s distributor considered placing blocking code into LimeWire, which it was developing in response to RIAA pressure. It has been reported that if this code was activated it would block users from sharing licensed files.

FrostWire includes all of the free LimeWire version’s functionality as well as a number of the features of LimeWire Pro including multi-threading downloads, and Turbo-Charged connections. An added benefit in using FrostWire; you won’t have to put up with LimeWire’s nag screen or ads.

With over 8,000,000 downloads at Download.com alone it would be difficult to dispute the continuing popularity of file sharing applications.

Fast facts:

· Open-source

· Firewall-to-firewall transfers

· Built-in community chat

· Connects to more sources

· Creative commons license support

· Broadband network connection

· Junk result filters

· Turbo-Charged download speeds

· iTunes integration

· Gnutella support

· BitTorrent support

· Proxy Support

If P2P file sharing is one of your interests, then you’ll find that this program should meet all of your needs.

Download at: Download.com

You should consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved in Peer to Peer file sharing however.

Peer to Peer file sharing sounds promising, right? Maybe, but make sure that you consider the trade-offs and the very real risks involved. The number of times I have been called upon to rescue a friend’s computer because of system damage caused by peer to peer downloading, has convinced me to give this form of file sharing an automatic “thumbs down”.

Privacy: When you are connected to file-sharing programs, you may unintentionally allow others to copy confidential files you did not intend to share. So be sure to setup the file-sharing software very carefully. If you don’t check the proper settings when you install the software, you could allow access not just to the files you intend to share, but also to other information on your hard drive, such as your tax returns, email messages, medical records, photos, and other personal and financial documents.

It’s extremely important to be aware of the files that you place in, or download to, your shared folder. Don’t put information in your shared folder that you don’t want to share with others. Your shared folder is the folder that is shared automatically with others on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Copyright Issues: You may knowingly, or otherwise, download material that is protected by copyright laws and find yourself caught up in legal issues. Copyright infringement can result in significant monetary damages, fines, and even criminal penalties. Some statistics suggest as many as 70% of young people between the ages of 9 – 14, regularly download copyrighted digital music. I f you are a parent, you bear the ultimate responsibility for this illegal activity.

Adult Content: Again, if you are a parent you may not be aware that their children have downloaded file-sharing software on the family computer, and that they may have exchanged games, videos, music, pornography, or other material that may be unsuitable for them. It’s not unusual for other peoples’ files to be mislabeled and you or your children can unintentionally download these files.

Spyware: There’s a good chance that the file-sharing program you’re using has installed other software known as spyware to your computer’s operating system. Spyware monitors a user’s browsing habits and then sends that data to third parties. Frequently the user gets ads based on the information that the spyware has collected and forwarded to these third parties. I can assure you that spyware can be difficult to detect and remove. Before you use any file-sharing program, you should buy, or download free software, that can help prevent the downloading or installation of spyware, or help to detect it on your hard drive if it has been installed.

Viruses: Use and update your anti-virus software regularly. Files you download could be mislabeled, hiding a virus or other unwanted content. Use anti-virus software to protect your computer from viruses you might pick up from other users through the file-sharing program. Generally, your virus filter should prevent your computer from receiving possibly destructive files. While downloading, you should avoid files with extensions such as .exe, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .dll, .bin, and .cmd.

Default Closing Behavior: It is critical that you close your connection after you have finished using the software. In some instances, closing the file-sharing program window does not actually close your connection to the network. That allows file-sharing to continue and will increase your security risk. Be sure to turn off this feature in the programs “preferences” setting. What’s more, some file-sharing programs automatically run every time you turn on your computer. As a preventive measure, you should adjust the file-sharing program’s controls to prevent the file-sharing program from automatically starting.

9 Comments

Filed under Freeware, Interconnectivity, Multimedia Tools, Online Safety, Open Source, Peer to Peer, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools