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How to Keep Your Kids from Downloading Illegal Files

Peer-to-peer file-sharing is very popular among kids. But using this may involve illegally downloading, sharing or copying copyrighted files which is considered piracy and punishable by law. So to keep your kids away from the possible risks of p2p file-sharing program, here are the things you can do:

1. Inform your kids about the impending risk. Piracy is considered stealing. And any civilized society imposes penalty on those who steal files from other people. Also, p2p file-sharing is a venue for spyware and viruses to enter your computer and infest the files on it. You may experience that it isn't enough to tell your kids that it's bad so it will help if you discuss further the consequences of doing such things. P2P file sharing can put your computer at risk from viruses and other internet-based threats like spyware and adware. The computer and other files associated with illegal downloads such as disks and flash drives can be confiscated. A fine of $30,000 can be imposed to the pirate according to the U.S. copyright law.

2. Keep your kids' internet activities monitored. Sometimes, warning them about the dangers and possible consequences of downloading illegal files online are still not enough, so further increase their security by keeping their activities monitored. It is recommended to keep the internet-connected computer in an open area and outside the bedroom so that you can easily see if your kids are illegally downloading files. Create a list of rules on the do's and don'ts of using the internet. For younger kids, specially designed web browsers for children can prevent them from accessing inappropriate webpages.

3. Lead your kids to legal download websites. There are many sites such as iTunes and MSN that offer legal downloadable games, mp3s, movies, and softwares at a very low price. Tell them to use these sites.

4. Set a limited account for your kids To make sure that you are in control, maintain your kids' computer account "limited". This will prohibit them from downloading, receiving or sharing illegal files. You on the other hand should maintain an "administrator' account both if you share your computer or not. Keeping your kids from downloading illegal files can appear to your kids as an act of restricting their freedom and fun to use the internet. Your task then is to make sure that they understand very well the points you are trying to make.


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