Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Apps
Sharing Isn't Always Caring
Using Peer-to-Peer (P2P) applications means you can share digital information with other people through online networks. Users can share music files, movies and games using software that connects 1 or more computers running the same software.
Using P2P applications, makes it is difficult, if not impossible, to verify the file source. Digital attackers often use P2P networks to transmit malware. These applications may also give unauthorized people access to financial or medical data, personal documents, sensitive corporate information, or other personal information.
Files shared through P2P applications may include pirated software, copyrighted material, or pornography. Even if you unknowingly download pirated or illegal material, you may be vulnerable to fines or other legal action. Peer-to-peer sharing can result in access to your personal information, malware distribution and if your computer is on the institutional network and exposes student/faculty/staff information, both you and the institution may be liable.
As your internet Service Provider, ITS must comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. As part of our compliance with this federal law, we notify users whenever we receive a formal written complaint from a copyright holder about pirated material. We ask the notified user to remove the infringing material from their devices, and then notify us when they have complied with our request.
Only Use Trusted Networks
The best digital data protection is to avoid using P2P applications. However, if you do want or need to, you can minimize the risk by following these safety tips.
- Install antivirus and anti-spyware programs from a trusted source.
- Set your devices up for automatic software installs and updates.
- Be cautious of what or how much you share. Install P2P programs carefully, and understand exactly which folders will be made public.
- Close your connection when not in use. Double click on the file-sharing program, choose the file menu, and then choose exit.
- Create separate user accounts. Consider setting up separate user accounts with limited rights separate from administrator account.