In this lesson you will learn about Peer to Peer file sharing risks. Peer to Peer is also referred to as P2P. Peer to Peer means anyone sharing files with anyone else. If I create a way to share files with you over a network or Internet connection, this sharing would be P2P. This is an important topic because it is one of the ways students get into legal trouble without realizing they are doing something wrong. It's also a common way for viruses, malware, and spyware to be transmitted from computer to computer.
Here's a simple video that explains the risks of Peer to Peer file sharing.
Peer to Peer File Sharing - Video
To share files, like games and music, through a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, you download software that connects your computer to other computers running the same software – sometimes giving access to millions of computers at a time. This has a number of risks. You could mistakenly:
- download malware, pirated or copyrighted material, or pornography
- allow strangers to access and share your personal files
If you’re considering P2P file-sharing, understand the inherent risks and take these steps to help minimize them.
P2P File Sharing
Some kids share music, games, or software online. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing allows people to share these kinds of files through an informal network of computers running the same software. P2P file-sharing has risks:
- You could accidentally provide many people with access to your private files.
- You could download copyrighted material, you could get yourself or your parents into legal trouble.
- A shared file could hide spyware, malware, or pornography.
Here are some tips to help you share files safely:
- Install file-sharing software properly. Activate the proper settings so that nothing private is shared.
- Before you open or play any file you have downloaded, talk to your parents (an older sibling is not a parent). Use security software to scan the file. If you don't have security software on your computer, forget about opening the file. It's not worth it.. Make sure the security software is up-to-date and running when the computer is connected to the internet.
Here are some links to free resources that will help you kick the file-sharing habit.
Legal Alternative Resources for Music, Video, and other media
Everyone likes movies, music, pictures and other stuff that comes from the Internet. That's why P2P is so popular. Why pay for something when you can have it for free? The hard thing to remember is that when you take something using P2P - you are almost always stealing or making easy for someone else to steal. Stealing on the Internet has the same consequences as stealing in real life. Of course someone has to catch you stealing and kids usually think that will never happen. Add to that the temptation to have cool music and videos to listen to and watch and most of the people you know will probably brag about their P2P stuff.
Look at the graphic below. It's a short advice column about Peer to Peer taken from PC Magazine. Read it carefully. When you are finished, open a Text Entry wiki and discuss whether this information helped persuade you to avoid P2P or if your opinion about P2P is different than what the article suggests.
Your response should be 1-3 paragraphs.
Your response should: 1) tell what you know about P2P 2) discuss what you hear from your friends or family and whether you agree or disagree 3) agree or disagree with the article below. If you disagree, you need to present reasons based in facts, not opinions.
An opinion would look something like this: I think P2P is fine. Everyone I know does it and they have never had a problem.
A fact would look something like this: Everyone I know does P2P and they report having no issues. After reading articles about P2P, I found information that everyone who does P2P should know about....(then list the facts you found).