What's Your P2P Policy?

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You’re looking at a website right now, but what else is open on the toolbar at the bottom of your screen? Customer spreadsheets? Financial documents? Confidential memos? What’s the risk that a hacker is looking over your virtual shoulder to steal data that could be used to commit fraud or ID theft? The answer may depend on your company’s policy toward peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing.

P2P technology is a way to share files, play games, and facilitate online phone calls. Because anyone can join a P2P network by installing certain software, multiple computers can be connected at once. But when P2P software isn’t configured properly, files you didn’t mean to share may be accessible to others, including cybercrooks casing the network for easy access to sensitive data.

Some businesses ban the use of P2P programs on company computers. Others allow them – with strict safeguards. But if you’re asked "What’s your company’s policy on P2P file sharing?" the only wrong answer is "We don’t have one."

To help companies manage the risks posed by file sharing software, the FTC has published Peer-to-Peer File Sharing:  A Guide for Business, a plain language handbook written for corporate decision makers.  Download the brochure, order free copies from the FTC, watch this video – and set up a time to talk over the issue with your in-house IT guru.

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