Understanding the risks with FREE Music peer-to-peer websites
Are you at risk using and downloading FREE music from the Internet
When you install any 'free' software offering you free music (or programs) from websites, your computer will very likely have high risk peer-to-peer installed. This 'free' software will open wide your computer to the risk of globally sharing files with other unknown users. It has been demonstrated by my research, that with such peer-to-peer sharing software, that you are exposing your computer to very high levels of security risk and attacks. Through Spyware, Virus, and other malicious means you have made your computer extremely vulnerable. This occurs most often with home users who have children or young adults seeking music and movies.
Peer-to-Peer known 'risk' programs:
Here is a list of programs that should not be found on computers that young people have access to (consenting Adults may differ if they accept the very high risks involved!):
File sharing software: 95% of the software used on Peer-2-Peer systems 'sharing' is infected with backdoors to your computer system. No software should ever be downloaded from a website that is not a trusted and respected site. Some of the known high risk software programs to be wary of are:
With your safety in mind, I can state it is high risk to receive most offers of free internet music. Music and Software downloaded from services like this will eventually arrive as corrupted, or infected with a deadly virus, spyware, or a malicious trojan. This will soon cause your computer some very serious problems. The FBI advises parents and guardians that, because there is no age restriction for the use of such Peer-to-Peer software services, pornography of all types is easily accessible by young children whose parents or guardians mistakenly believe they are only accessing music or movies.
How you may be at risk:
If you have been involved in any peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, then someone has allowed an installation of LimeWire, Bit Torrent, e-Donkey or some similar P2P sharing application. You are likely to not be aware of it, but when you became a P2P software user, it was agreed to allow global internet public access to your computer as a distribution source of music and possibly program files. Not only does this make you a potential illegal distributor, it also means that when you access the Internet, other P2P network user's have open access to a part of your hard drive's contents.
I highly recommend, that you should find out what P2P programs you may have on your computer. You want to keep strangers out of your hard drive data. Uninstall any suspect P2P software and educate our young adults into the very real risks involved. It is fact, that some serious trojans have been specifically written to spread by this popular Peer-to-Peer network method (I have seen the result of this attack on many computer systems and their frustrated owners).
The FBI urges you to learn about the risks and dangers of Peer-to-Peer networks, as well as the legal consequences of copyright infringement, illegal pornography, and computer hacking. For more information about this computer problem, please visit FBI computer crimes.
Removing peer-to-peer risks:
To find out if you have risky file sharing software or shared files open on your computer and help you to remove and secure them, please visit this free non-profit website Digital File Check (DFC).
DFC is an safety tool offered to all computer users, as well as organisations. DFC is especially useful for parents who want to encourage their children to enjoy music responsibly on the internet. DFC is free, voluntary and private and does not report to any anti-piracy organisations.
If you use the family computer for work and your children use it to 'steal' music through LimeWire or BitTorrent, then not only your personal files may be at risk on but your work files too!
There are better ways to get music legally, and possibly for free (safely and legally):
- New artists sometimes reward their fan's by offering bonus tracks on their listed website resources
- eMusic often offers back catalogs from Music record companies that sell part of their music tracks to smaller, independent labels. You can sign up for a free trial and get to keep anywhere from 25 to 100 music tracks
- You can find SOME free music on http://www.mp3.com/
One of the big advantages of dealing with Internet digital music stores are consistency of resource quality and a very high probability that what you do download on your computer is music and not malware.
Please consider the pros and cons of using a program like LimeWire to download music. I believe I have given you enough information to make an educated decision for your own safety alert.