Peer-to-Peer is a file sharing software that allows people to share files th throgh internet by an informal network. P2P can give you access to a large amount of information; however, it can also expose you to viruses, spyware, illegal material, id theft and more.
P2P eliminates the need for central servers, permitting all computers to communicate and share resources as equals. Users can download files such as music, movies, and games using a file sharing software that searches for other connected computers (called ‘peers’). The software typically used by default in these peer-to-peer networks will open your hard drive to the world giving other users access to personal information and making your computer susceptible to attacks. Whether it’s because certain directories are reachable, because there are vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of, or because you provide personal information to what you believe to be a trusted person or organization, unauthorized people may be able to access your financial or medical data, personal documents, sensitive corporate information, or other private information.
When you use peer to peer applications, it is difficult to verify that the source of the files is trustworthy. Once information has been exposed to unauthorized people, it’s difficult to know how many people have accessed it. The availability of this information may increase your risk of identity theft, fraud, leaking of confidential files, etc.
The best way to eliminate these risks is to avoid using peer to peer applications. However, if you choose to use this technology make sure you use antispyware and antivirus and keep it updated. Also install or enable a firewall which will prevent some types of infection by blocking malicious data before it can enter your computer.