In wanting to get free music downloads online, file sharing sites are one way to download unlimited free songs. But are they really safe to use? What are the risks of using free music download file sharing networks?
In using a file sharing site (AKA P2P and peer-to-peer) you are able to download all types of free files, including; songs, games, movies, TV shows, videos and software. Because P2P networks make it easy to instantly gain access to millions of songs online, file sharing programs remain in high demand despite any possible risks involved.
Using a file sharing site to get movies and music downloads can install adware, spyware, keyloggers, malware as well as a variety of harmful online security applications. It’s a pretty well-known fact that free music download sites purposely allow adware and spyware to be installed onto your computer as a way for them to make money from people sharing and downloading files from their networks.
Could Potentially Dangerous Programs Be Lurking Inside Free File Sharing Music Downloads?
In a word, yes. In the past, a file sharing site had only minor network problems to deal with. In the early days of peer-to-peer sharing, P2P networks had common issues such as; poor sound quality, slow downloads, damaged files, corrupt or poorly managed databases, deceptive links, and pop-up ads.
Nowadays, potentially dangerous programs are purposely included in files downloaded from P2P network sites. These files are included without your knowledge or permission. This exposure to greater risks and Internet security threats require that people stay vigilant and on-guard 24/7 against all types of downloading hazards.
Here are the dangerous files and risks that you can potentially expose yourself to when using file sharing networks:
- Adware, Spyware and Malware
- Viruses, Worms, and Trojans
- Corrupt MP3 Spoofing Files
- Identity Theft Programs, Keyloggers and Online Hackers
- Lewd Pornography or Profanity Files
This is why you must always use safety precautions when downloading any file from the web; especially if you’re downloading from a free P2P file sharing site online. However, as annoying as those problems were, they are next to nothing when you compare them with free music downloads threats faced with today.
What Are The RIAA Risks of Getting Free Music Downloads From P2P File Sharing Networks?
When getting free music downloads online, one of the most talked about risks is that of the RIAA lawsuits for breaking copy-right infringement laws. Over the recent years the media has covered many stories of Americans getting sued by The Recording Industry Association Of America.
The RIAA has been on a very active campaign to track down and sue people for downloading or sharing copyrighted material online. As serious as the RIAA (and now also the MPAA) lawsuits are, there are other risks when getting free music downloads that get less attention.
Tips to Stay Safe Downloading Free Music Online:
Because a P2P program works by downloading files directly from the computers of other network users, you can NEVER be sure that what you are downloading is truly safe. For example, many people are unaware of potentially dangerous files that are often mislabeled or corrupt.
If you choose to use a file sharing program, you should always be aware of mislabeled files. Once a “fake” file is opened, you could be hit with any number of threats.
Internet security professionals suggest you avoid files with extensions like .exe, .dll, .scr, .lnk, .bat, .vbs, .bin, and .cmd. Furthermore, it is strongly recommended to keep your anti-virus software updated with the latest definitions – and to have it running at all times.
To Sum Up:
When looking to get free music downloads online, it’s important to “think first” – download second! As mentioned above, RIAA lawsuit threats and security risks are the top reasons more and more people are using legitimately licensed music sites. However, if you choose to use a file sharing site you should learn all you can about how to stay safe when downloading free music online.