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Peer-to-Peer Safety

Peer-to-Peer Systems and Internet Safety

Also known as P2P, these systems make it possible for people to exchange files without having to go through a web site or other centralized system. P2P systems are popular places where kids exchange music files.  P2P systems also allow kids to exchange other digital files such as videos, movies, photographs, documents, and software.

Parents should be aware that there are certain risks associated with the use of P2P systems such as:

  • P2P systems are frequently used to exchange illegal material such as child pornography
  • P2P systems are also frequently used to exchange adult pornography
  • Users may not know what they have downloaded until it’s on their computers. By sharing files kids could unknowingly end up downloading and distributing harmful viruses and even illegal material such as child pornography or copyrighted materials

Parents should carefully check out the file-sharing services that their kids want to use. Make sure the services are not offering copyrighted material without the permission of the author or artist. Also check to make sure the sites do not offer materials that are inappropriate for kids.