File Sharing & Copyright: What You Can Do To Protect Yourself
3. Adjust the file sharing program's controls so it's not connected to the P2P network all the time
- Disable your file sharing applications when you are not actively using them. Since many of these applications make it hard to shut them down completely -- allowing file sharing to take place even after you think you have exited the program -- you could be still be sharing files unless the application is turned off. Configure your software so that uploads/sharing is disabled. If you are having trouble doing this, visit the P2P vendor's site for more instructions.
- Some file sharing programs automatically open every time you turn on your computer and continue to operate even when you "close" them. Locate and disable the option for the application to start automatically upon boot up.
- TIP: If you need assistance configuring your file sharing program, Cornell University has collected a list of resources on how to disable or remove peer-to-peer file sharing programs. The University of Chicago Networking Services and Information Technologies web site provides excellent and detailed information about disabling many of the most popular peer-to-peer file sharing applications.
- TIP: If you don't disable file sharing altogether, make sure to limit the bandwidth allowed for uploading and limit the maximum number of simultaneous uploads.
4. Remove P2P file sharing altogether
- You can also consider completely removing or uninstalling any file sharing application. The University of Delaware web site illustrates how to remove file sharing programs in general and LimeWire, one of the most popular peer-to-peer programs, specifically.
5. Use a security program from a vendor you know and trust
- Keep the software and your operating system up-to-date. Some file sharing software may install malware or adware, and some files may include unwanted content.
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