What’s wrong with getting software through a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing network... besides the fact that it’s stealing?

Think hygiene. When you’re hooked up to a file sharing network, your computer is hooking up with other computers around the world. And some of those computers are downright nasty. They’ve got history—and your computer could be history if they pass it on to you.

Unfortunately, there’s no good protection. The more you mess around on P2P networks, the more likely that your computer will get infected, invaded, or worse. In a recent survey*, 55 percent of college downloaders said they had experienced computer virus problems, with 20 percent reporting hard drive crashes and 18 percent the loss of files and documents.

Need more proof? Take a look at this slide show. If you’ve been hanging out on a file sharing network, you could meet someone you already know.


Seen Enough?

If you get involved with one of these characters, you know you’ll regret it. Why take the chance? Remember:

  • P2P Files Can Be Infected: Stealing software through a file sharing network is a good way to get a virus that could wreck your computer, or spyware that could ruin your life.
  • P2P Files Can Be Contagious: If you get a virus from a file sharing network, you’ll probably pass it along to your friends and family, and might even infect every computer at your school.
  • P2P Files Can Be Costly: Recovering from a virus that you picked up on a file sharing network can mean a huge computer repair bill, plus weeks reconstructing the data you’ve lost.

*IPSOS Public Affairs survey conducted for the Business Software Alliance, May 2007.

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