If it sounds too good to be true .....

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If it sounds too good to be true .....

Postby Chris » 21 Oct 2007, 16:28

In her chatty and informative article in the current issue of The Swazzle Denise Petit (Mrs Back-to-Front) enthuses about her discovery that she can download copyright music for free to her MP3 player for use during the show via her amplifier.
The website facility which allows her to do this is called LimeWire and is what is known as P2P or a peer-to-peer network. In essence it allows you to connect your own computer directly to a lot of other people's computers and to exchange data between them.

Swazzle editor Paul Jackson does add a remark that to broadcast music so obtained may be illegal. I agree. But my concern is that P2P itself is a dangerous game to play unless you know what precautions to take.

This is what the current issue of Computer Shopper says on the matter:
....And it's not that Vista has a problem with LimeWire, although many users think peer-to-peer(P2P) networks are so dangerous that Vista security ought to block them.....
.... Finally, be very careful about what you download from an P2P network. You have no idea where the files really come from. They may have been deliberately infected by spyware or viruses.

I should add that I am sure that Denise was in no way aware of any danger and was just generously passing on what she thought was a valuable service.

For those who, despite the warning, want to experiment then I offer the following advice:
Make sure you have a reputable Virus Checker, up to date and Active, on your computer. Also have available a good spyware detector such as the free AdAware.
Download to a specific folder, perhaps called "Suspect Downloads" and before you open this, or click anything within it, get your virus checker to investigate that folder. Then run a full virus check on your whole computer, then the spyware detector. If all comes out clean then you can safely play your downloads.

But it is safer and does save a lot of hassle to pay for your music by buying on a CD or downloading from legitimate sources.

It's good to squawk!
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