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Friday, September 07, 2007

P2P File Sharing May Leave You Vulnerable to Identity Theft and Fraud

P2P file sharing sounds like a good deal with free and easy access to the latest movies, music, and TV shows, but don't rush in without making sure your computer is secure.

Since the point of P2P is to share files from person-to-person, applications like LimeWire, Soulseek, and KaZaA can leave sensitive, private documents open to public access. In one case, a Seattle man downloaded "federal tax returns, student financial aid applications and credit reports that had been stored electronically."

He then used this information to apply for credit cards online and bought more than $73,000 worth of electronics (iPods, hard drives, etc.). Then, he resold them for a profit.

At least 83 file sharers were victimized by him.

So don't become a victim of P2P identity theft and fraud. Make sure that the folders on your computer that are publically shared don't contain any personal information. To be extra secure, it's also recommended that you keep these documents on a separate hard drive or a USB key.

The alternative may be more costly than you signed up for.


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Reader Comments:

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