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    Sunday 17 November 2019

    How To Torrent Safely Avoid Virus-Infection & Hacking

    Torrenting is the process of simultaneously downloading many files in small bits from different sources. Torrenting is often viewed as a safe practice under the disguise of the web. However, torrenting files can be unsafe and can even plunge you into deep trouble.

    The BitTorrent network and protocol may not be illegal. However, the volume of content shared through torrents comprises files that breach copyright holders’ rights. Torrenting is decentralized, and common, and can easily convince internet users that there will be no consequences.
    If you have to torrent, take the necessary precautions, failure to which you could be faced with lawsuits. Remember, copyright holders, are doing everything they can behind the scenes to fight piracy. There are different ways through which torrents can get in trouble. They are:
          ISP penalties
          Legal settlements
          Malware infection
          Loss of privacy
    BitTorrent is a peer to peer network that consequently reuploads files already downloaded by users. This exposes the users to various vulnerabilities. Here is detailed information about the torrenting dangers you should beware of.

    Copyright trolls

    When you are illegally torrenting, there will be high chances of being pursued infringing copyright. Today, accomplished actors and movie producing studios hardly sue people for downloading their most recent releases illegally.
    The idea of copyright holders taking legal action was commonly used in the past. However, it was abandoned for ineffectiveness in stopping the development of BitTorrent more than a decade ago. It was then replaced by organizations referred to as copyright trolls. 

    How do copyright trolls operate?

    A copyright troll obtains permission from the copyright owner to prosecute individuals who download media without permission. The BitTorrent protocol is developed uniquely. When you connect a gadget to a torrent, all IP addresses of gadgets linked to that torrent will be displayed.
    This means that copyright trolls can see all the people downloading or uploading content illegally, and can pursue them. The IP addresses can be trailed back to the ISP (Internet Service Providers) The copyright trolls then forward a list of IP addresses and compensation letters to the service providers. The internet service providers then send the compensation letters to their consumers.
    The compensation letters demand some thousands of dollars on the condition that the receiver makes immediate payment. Failure to adhere to the demands can see you fight a court battle that in the end could cost massive amounts of money. Numerous compensation letters can be distributed with the copyright troll hoping that the scare trick can be effective. Only then can they claim that their efforts have borne fruit.
    Following court rulings that IP addresses hardly represent identities, you should ignore a compensation letter should you receive one. Remember, chances are that the letter will not be addressed to a specific identity. However, should you opt to respond to the letter you end up giving them your identity hence easing their efforts?
    Still, if you receive a letter, it should act as a warning that you are engaging in illegal torrenting. The best action you can take is to stop or take legal action is the situation worsens. 

     Malware risks

    Today, computers play a critical role in the efficient running of companies regardless of their size. Downloading a malicious file or a debilitating virus, therefore, can halt your business operations. Torrent downloads can present a similar risk.
    However, the repercussions are the same as they would be with any other type of file, notwithstanding the source. What makes a torrent unrecognizable? It could be because the downloader has developed a disguised sense of protection towards peer to peer networks. Many times, even the most cautious user will open an unwelcome email attachment to access a downloaded torrent.
    This may happen even when the user neither knows the original uploader nor any email spammer. When you legally download a torrent, don’t run it before scanning it with an antivirus program. If you’re lucky, you could get torrent interface programs with plug-ins that scans incoming files automatically.

    ISP throttling

    Do you have a VPN connection of any other type of encryption? If you don’t, chances are, your internet traffic will be tracked by a user’s ISP. Many internet service providers in the USA team up with copyright holders.
    They strive to save bandwidth and avoid being held liable. Due to this, they detest torrenting whether it’s legal or not. If an internet service provider finds any of their customers torrenting, they will begin by sending warning letters. In the event this method fails, the ISP can throttle the user’s bandwidth, suspend or terminate their accounts, or fine them.
    Bandwidth throttling limits internet connection speed. Often, download speed is only limited to specific ports such as those that BitTorrent clients use. However, some internet service providers can resort to limiting the entire traffic. 

    Legal battles 

    A big percentage of all the files available via peer to peer networks comprises of the copyrighted material. This means that sharing the data is illegal. Today, the chances of people who share illegal files being arrested are greater than was the case in the past.
    The music and film industry has heightened efforts to protect copyright and catch violators. Penalties for such violation can be; getting restricted from accessing the internet for up to 10 years. This could be accompanied by colossal fines amounting up to $250,000.
    Legal battles will not only taint your business, but they will also bring them to a halt. To avoid this strive to downloading freeware or non-copyrighted files. Better still, you can opt to avoid peer to peer websites.

    Data safety

    Many people who oppose peer to peer file sharing opine that uploading a torrent exposes other data stored in a PC. This is an alarming claim more so for business owners who fear that essential company data can be compromised.
    While this could be true, it only affects data that’s stored in the same location as the torrent file being uploaded. The files you download via torrents will be distributed to other users by default. They, therefore, are stored in a shareable folder.
    You shouldn’t worry about your crucial company data being compromised. This would be true if you don’t store essential company data in the same file as the torrent. To enhance the safety of your company data, you may want to deactivate the sharing of folders. 

    How to be safe while torrenting

    To protect your data and privacy from threats emerging from peer to peer networks, use the following computer protection ideas. 
          A robust antivirus security suite
          Latest operating system updates installed on your gadget
          Internet connection encryption
    These are critical things when you’re torrenting. VPNs can help with the encrypting to disguise your activities. However, they may not be reliable with kills switch, logjams, and DNS leakage, all of which are popular torrenting dangers. You may want to shop around for the ultimate VPN provider. 

    Understand that some torrents are riskier compared to others

    Copyright trolls tend to monitor popular and new releases more closely. It’s worth noting that any movie that’s within 60 days of their Blu-Ray and DVD release will be highly monitored. During this period, TV shows and movies make colossal amounts in profits.
    Some of the popular torrents will present copyright trolls with a wide range of IP addresses to pursue. This facilitates their efforts to catch perpetrators. To be on the safe side, you want to steer clear of downloading any popular torrents. 

    Use a VPN

    What can you do to avoid legal battles, paying hefty fines and getting penalized by your ISP? The answer is simple. Steer clear of piracy. There are numerous legal and free torrenting sites you can use. Always use a VPN to avoid these risks. Using a virtual private network is currents said to be the most practical way of staying safe while torrenting.
    A virtual private network encrypts all internet traffic in a gadget and directs it to the user’s location of choice. This bars internet service providers from decoding traffic and disguises the gadget’s IP address preventing copyright trolls from tracing it. Remember, not all VPNs you encounter are safe for torrenting.
    Some of them have inadequate privacy policies and may record user-identifying data, for instance, your IP address. Some of the free VPNs in the market hardly encrypt peer to peer traffic. This makes them ineffective in terms of providing you with security while you torrent. Always read user reviews before choosing a VPN. Leverage user reviews to choose a trustworthy and reliable VPN service for torrenting. 

    Use legal torrents

    Downloading legal torrents is one of the methods you can use to remain on the safe side. As we’ve already mentioned, downloading recently released Hollywood movies on DVD or Blu-ray can plunge you into trouble. This is because the copyright holders are always up in arms to keep a close watch on such content.
    IP addresses that download such material can be nabbed very fast. To avert problems, only download content from legal torrents. There are numerous types of legal content that you can download. For instance, old content, independent movies, and open source software are available free of charge. Here are some reliable sites from where you can get legal content. 

    Be wary of Netflix VPN lest it directs you to illegal torrenting

    Do you utilize Netflix outside the US? If you do, you’re currently prohibited from utilizing a proxy to view movies and TV shows that are outside your country. After Netflix rolled out its services globally, they embarked on an exercise to block proxy connections regardless of their origin. This was done to adhere to content licensing contracts with copyright holders.
    As a result, many Netflix subscribers could only access selected shows which caused dissatisfaction. Many users began using torrents to fill up their catalogs. Not all VPN services have adopted new policies by Netflix. Some of them can still gain access to Netflix and content that’s restricted to certain countries.
    While torrenting copyrighted data is illegal, using a virtual private network to bypass a geo lock isn’t illegal. Some smart domain name system proxy services provide alternative practical and legal workarounds.
    Whether you’re bypassing or torrenting the Netflix firewall, always use a VPN. Not all VPNs are made equal so always do your research to find out which provider is an industry-endorsed, trust-worthy, and optimized torrent vpn.  

    Use a privacy-oriented torrent client

    UTorrent is not the only torrent client there is in the market. There are numerous other options that come with unique features. Some torrent clients who focus on security and privacy can encrypt your torrents and conceal traffic. While these measures are not always reliable, they can provide you with an extra layer of security.

    Use proxy

    To boost your anonymity, you can configure a proxy server and direct all torrent traffic via a tunnel. This will disguise your actual IP address and switch it with another one. Using an IP address-analyzing service such as What’sMyIP. This way, you will be guaranteed that your actual IP address isn’t being leaked as you download torrents. 

    Utilize reputable torrent sites

    Legal matters are just but a tip of the things you may encounter when using torrents. As you download a torrent file, you may not be sure what it contains. Chances are, that it could contain malware. Once your download is complete, you proceed to click on the file. Chances are that a virus could infect your computer.
    To reduce such risks, you can utilize trustworthy torrent sites. Remember to read the comments below the torrent description. Administrators and active users use these parts to notify users about problems to do with particular torrent files. They will also recommend the best ways of solving arising issues


    Apart from leveraging legal torrent sites, using virtual private network while torrenting can help you stay on the safe side. If you have to torrent, avoid new and popular releases. Doing so can expose you to lawsuits and hefty fines. Understand the dangers involved in torrenting and master these tips to stay safe as you torrent.

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