When you install file sharing applications, you may get more than you bargained for. Many install smaller applications known as spyware and adware without your knowledge. These applications can monitor your web surfing habits and generate pop-up advertisements.
Other users may gain access to files on your hard drive that you did not intend to share, or send you files infected with a virus. If your computer becomes infected, it could be used to attack other computers on the network.
Because the developers of some file sharing programs don't want you to uninstall their programs, your computer may continue sharing files via file sharing networks after you've tried to uninstall your file sharing software. For that reason, if you have received a copyright violation notice, it is wise to scan your computer for viruses and malware. It may be necessary to completely reinstall the operating system on the computer in order to guarantee that your computer will cease sharing illegal files.
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