Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Peer To Peer File Sharing and Idenity Theft

Dangers of P2P file sharingExperts in security have been warning for years against the hazards of peer-to-peer{P2P} sharing by corporations. The practice of p2p sharing can create security holes allowing malware onto networks and giving access to your sensitive data.

The P2P community may at last be heeding the warnings; next week a company representing P2P file sharing providers will publish a report that purportedly finds P2P software companies are modifying their programs in an effort to make it harder for users to inadvertently share sensitive information.

The problem in corporate America, experts say, is that employees are violating corporate policy by using P2P software at work or on work laptops to download MP3 files, or they take the work laptop home and their children install file-sharing software on it. "Ninety-three percent of P2P disclosures in the enterprise are inadvertent," said Tiversa Brand Director Scott Harrer. "You can't really guard against human error."

The latest version of popular file sharing software, released earlier this year, LimeWire 5, includes a number of the suggested security changes and served as a "poster child for compliance," said Marty Lafferty, chief executive of the DCIA.

It's not just corporations that should fear P2P sharing; home users need to be concerned as well. According to the Identity Theft Assistance Center, throughout this year "criminals will continue to exploit new technologies to commit identity theft." At the top of their list of 'major event' security breaches from 2007 is a case involving a P2P file sharing network.

Even with the public becoming more educated on P2P sharing, the use is steadily on the rise. A large number of people use file sharing to download music, movies and games. What they don't know is doing so can allow access to their personal information, such as business, tax and personal files.

The danger here is clear, as it is commonly acknowledged that criminals now troll file sharing networks for the sole purpose of finding sensitive data that can be used to commit identity theft.One of the steps you can take to protect your files is looking into software like Identity Finder.Identity Finder has the ability to automatically search for personal information inside files, e-mails, and web browsers. It then helps individuals securely delete the data or protect the information with encryption.

The best thing that corporations and the public can do is become educated in P2P sharing and the dangers that exists. For more information on P2P sharing click here.

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