Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Programs that allow many different users to access the same file at the same time. These programs are usually used to illegally download music, pornography, and software.

By installing peer-to-peer software, users may inadvertently or through inattention expose themselves to the risk of worms, viruses, so-called "Trojan horses," and various types of "malware," such as spyware and adware, which can be installed without the user's knowledge and which can be used to monitor the user's web browsing activities, collect personal and private data about the user, such as medical and financial records or privileged or intimate communications, or for other malicious purposes such as disabling your computer or spreading worms and viruses to others. (John G. Malcolm, Deputy Assistant Attorney General - Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice. October, 2003)

Examples:

LimeWire, Kazaa, BearShare, gnutella, and Morpheus.

Stay Safe:

Look for the names and/or icons of these and other file-sharing applications on your computer. If any of these applications are found on the computer, talk to your children about why they are using the program and inform them of the danger in doing so. Consider installing filters that will block these types of applications.

Additional Resources:

Know the Dangers - Peer-to-Peer
Information and tips on how to stay safe while using Peer-toPeer Services from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Internet Survival Guide - Downloading
A parents guide put out by CommonSenseMedia.org

Sharing Files
Information for Teens about sharing files from ThinkUKnow.