Monday, September 10, 2007

Can Sharing Music on the Web Expose You to ID Theft?

by Rick Kam

According to Brian Koemer who authored an article on September 10, 2007 titled "Peer-to-Peer Networks Used to Steal Identities", the answer is YES!

"In what federal authorities are calling the first of its kind, the arrest of Gregory Thomas Kopiloff of Seattle, who allegedly used P2P Software to steal the personally identifiable information (PII) of at least 83 people."

How many of you use P2P file sharing software like Kazaa or LimeWire?

If you have teenagers in the house, are they using these tools to share their favorite songs with friends?

There is a good chance that one of your computers have this tools installed. If you do, Brian Koemer provides tips on how to protect yourself online. Besides, these tips from Brian, We also suggest the following:

1. Make sure your computer has the firewalls enabled. A firewall will help reduce the risk of someone getting unauthorized access to your computer. If you bought a computer recently, most will come out of the box with the firewalls enabled (i.e. Windows Vista or MAC OSX).

2. Scan your computer regularly for viruses. You can schedule this function to run every week or once a month when you are not using it.

3. Make sure you obtain files from known sources (i.e. iTunes). Many versions of music files exist on the web. You can tell they are different because the file sizes differ. Some of these variations are legitimate and accommodate for various media players. Others contain viruses and other malware.

If you suspect any issues with files, just don't put it on your computer...

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