According to the Identity Theft Assistance Center, a national nonprofit coalition dedicated to protecting consumers from identity theft, throughout 2008 “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 peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing network. Similarly, the SANS Institute has identified P2P file-sharing applications as one of the most crucial Internet security vulnerabilities.
The Associated Press recently reported that “more than 1 billion searches are conducted daily over peer-to-peer systems. A good number involved bank names, the word “password” and other terms that appear to be attempts by would-be thieves to dig up other people’s sensitive documents.”
Kids & Digital Content reports that 70 percent of tweens (kids ages 9 through 14) are downloading digital music. The NPD Group has stated that “high levels of illegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing” are attributed as the source of those downloads. “Despite the severe risk of using P2P networks, their popularity is on the rise,” said Todd Feinman, CEO of Identity Finder. He added that, “Millions of Americans use file sharing to download music, movies and games over the Internet but don’t realize they’re inadvertently letting strangers download their own, their colleagues — or, in the case of tweens, their parents’ — financial, tax return and personal files.”
The problem with many of the P2P applications is they often lead to an individual sharing everything on his or her computer. Last month, Mary Engle…
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