Using any peer-to-peer
(P2P) or file sharing
program (i.e. Limewire, eMule, Kontiki, BitTorrent, uTorrent, Azureus/Vuze) is a security risk which can make your system susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections
, remote attacks, and exposure of personal information.
The reason for this is that file sharing relies on its members giving and gaining unfettered access to computers across the P2P network. This practice can make you vulnerable to data and identity theft, system infection and remote access exploit
by attackers who can take control of your computer without your knowledge. Even if you change the risky default settings to a safer configuration, downloading files from an anonymous source increases your exposure to infection
because the files you are downloading may actually contain a disguised threat. Many malicious worms and Trojans, such as the Storm Worm, target and spread across P2P files sharing networks because of their known vulnerabilities. In some instances the infection may cause so much damage to your system that recovery is not possible
and a Repair Install will NOT help!. In those cases, the only option is to wipe your drive, reformat and reinstall the OS.
Even the safest P2P file sharing programs that do not contain bundled spyware, still expose you to risks because of the very nature of the P2P file sharing process. By default, most P2P file sharing programs are configured to automatically launch at startup. They are also configured to allow other P2P users on the same network open access to a shared directory on your computer. The best way to eliminate these risks is to avoid using P2P applications
are a security risk which can make your computer susceptible to a smörgåsbord of malware infections
, remote attacks, exposure of personal information, and identity theft. They can lead to other sites containing malware which you can inadvertently download without knowledge. Users visiting such sites may encounter innocuous-looking banner ads containing code which can trigger pop-up ads
and malicious Flash ads
that install viruses, Trojans and spyware
. Ads are a target for hackers because they offer a stealthy way to distribute malware to a wide range of Internet users
. For these reasons gaming sites can put you at risk to fraud, phishing and theft of personal data
. Even if the gaming site is a clean site, there is always the potential of some type of malware making its way there and then onto your system. In some instances an infection may have caused so much damage to your system that it cannot be successfully cleaned or repaired. In those cases, recovery is not possible and the only option is to reformat/reinstall the OS.