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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Reasons to Be Careful When File Sharing with Classmates

ID theft runs rampant on the internet, as individuals the world over are connected to each other now more than ever before. While there are benefits to having better access to more information today than we did a generation ago, people will have access to info about you that you should not be willing to share so openly.

This is especially true on a college campus, where peers will frequently share information with each other as studying aids, entertainment or, in some unfortunate cases, to unwittingly allow identity theft to take place. While you may think you know and can trust someone who you share files electronically with, there could be hidden hazards that are leaving you exposed to more than just this one individual.

For instance, if you are sharing files on a larger network, there could be passwords that are allowing users to download not just a specific file to their computer, but the entire contents of your hard drive. If you have personal identification information on your hard drive, you could easily be enabling ID theft to take place which could lead to not only a damaged credit score, but even a stolen identity.

In many cases, identity theft isn’t the only risk you take by file sharing, as many files have copyrights in place that make sharing them a punishable offense. You don’t want to share a jail cell with the same person who got caught committing ID theft, so be wary about file sharing when you go to school.