Known risks of Bittorent Filesharing

Updated on October 18, 2020

Cyber-Attacks and Hacking

With BitTorrent, your IP address is visible to everyone you connect to. Any half-decent hacker can use it to blow through home security like nothing to access everything on your computer: usernames/passwords, ID/contact information, school/work info, financial information, all of it!

Using a secure VPN, the IP displayed could mean dozens or hundreds of users. The hacker will diligently work away only to crack into the VPN’s monitored server, which means the next thing the hacker will hear is the “click” of handcuffs.

You should always just use a well-known VPN service with good reputations instead of any free VPN, although such offers might sound appealing, because you can never know if the free software wasn’t just made to spy on your phone and collect data. It’s unbelievable what modern phone monitoring programs are able to do in the background, imagine such possibilities in bad hands.

Malware and Viruses

The biggest risk is actually downloading. If you’re exchanging files among a restricted and known group, not a problem. However, downloading popular software is risky: hackers often add virus or firewall-disabling code. A VPN cannot help you in these cases – they do not monitor your traffic and are not responsible for your online activity. This problem is the same with Filehosting services and usenet services alike.

Make sure you have a really good up-to-date antivirus application. One great feature is a “sandbox”: if things go south, closing the sandbox destroys the program with no harm done. Make sure you check the comments before downloading anything.

ISP Throttling and Logging

ISPs monitor and regulate traffic even if you have “unlimited” download. Some even throttle back perfectly legitimate services, such as Netflix – you know, the same service they promoted heavily to get you to sign on with them. Worse, they keep a copy of your data stream for up to two years. This means everything: emails, web browsing, and downloading.

Even with a proxy service, your ISP still sees the file you’re opening up to initiate a torrent. A good VPN fixes this by encrypting your connection from end to end. Your ISP only sees that you’re using a VPN. When sourcing a VPN, look for “military grade” – /minimum/ 256-bit encryption.