Western Kentucky University

IT Division - Security

File Sharing

Peer to peer (P2P) file sharing is the practice of making files available for other users to download over the Internet and smaller networks. Peer-to-peer file sharing programs store files on their user's computers and allows other users to download anything that is shared, effectively turning their computer into a server. Examples of P2P file sharing networks include BitTorrent, UTorrent, FrostWire, and LimeWire, among others.

P2P software can undermine network security and expose your computer to threats, such as viruses, malware, password and identity theft, spyware, and other threats that can incapacitate computers. Pirated software is often loaded with code to download and spread viruses, and many pirate sites falsely list files in a attempt to get the user to download malware.

While P2P programs have legitimate uses, using peer-to-peer (p2p), ftp, irc, or other applications to download or distribute copyrighted materials is against the law and against University Policy. WKU takes copyright violations very seriously and responds accordingly to each incident and violation.

How can you know if a file you are downloading and sharing is violating copyright? A general rule of thumb is that if you are downloading something for free that you would normally have to pay for then it is most likely violating copyright.

WKU highly recommends NOT installing any file sharing software while attending the university for both your own protection and the protection of WKU.

 Last Modified 11/22/13