Whenever you allow other users to pull information from your computer, or you pull information from another user's computer, you're opening the door to viruses, privacy invasions and a host of other security issues.
Kazaa has often been accused of installing spyware and adware on its users' machines to monitor their movements throughout the Web and to download ads to their computer without their knowledge. The old version of the software came bundled with spyware and adware code, and although they were optional, removing these additions during the download process was complicated. Today the company asserts that it does not collect or use personal information about its users. Copycat versions of Kazaa, such as Kazaagold and Kazaa Lite Tools K++, claim that their software is free from adware and spyware.
To prevent downloading of sensitive information, Kazaa advises its users to set up a special "My Shared Files" folder on their desktop. Then, when people try to download a file, they can only have access to the shared folder, rather than being allowed to wander freely across the individual's hard drive. Kazaa also comes equipped with virus-protection software that weeds out some of the bugs floating around cyberspace.
For more information on Kazaa, file sharing and related topics, check out the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Links
- Sonic Boom: Napster, MP3, and the New Pioneers of Music, by John Alderman
- Discovering P2P, by Michael Miller, Michael
- Peer-to-Peer: Harnessing the Power of Disruptive Technologies, by Andy Oram
- Steal This File-Sharing Book, by Wallace Wang
- MP3 Underground: The Inside Guide to MP3 Music, Napster, RealJukebox, MusicMatch, and Hidden Internet Songs, by Ron White (with CD-ROM)
- "459 European P2P users sued." AfterDawn.com, October 7, 2004 http://www.afterdawn.com/news/archive/5675.cfm
- Corder, Mike. "Recording Industry and File-Sharing Service Face Off in Australia," The America's Intelligence Wire, November 29, 2004.
- Evers, Joris. "Dutch Supreme Court Rules Kazaa Legal," PCWorld, December 19, 2003. http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,113968,00.asp
- "FastTrack," Free-Definition. http://www.free-definition.com/FastTrack.html
- Kazaa http://www.kazaa.com/us/index.htm
- "Kazaa Owner Complains of Copyright Infringement," Chilling Effects. http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/notice.cgi?NoticeID=789
- Liang, Jian, et al. "The KaZaA Overlay: A Measurement Study," Polytechnic University, New York, September 15, 2004.
- Liang, Jian, et al. "Pollution in P2P File Sharing Systems," Polytechnic University, New York. http://cis.poly.edu/~ross/papers/pollution.pdf
- Napster's Sons: Singing a Different Tune?" Business Week Online, February 21, 2002.
- "Sued for a Song," What's the Download.com. http://www.whatsthedownload.com/whats_the_controversy/sued_for_a_song/index.aspx
- Woody, Todd. "The Race to Kill Kazaa." Wired, Issue 11.02, February 2003. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.02/kazaa_pr.html