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P2P exposes you to attack from hackers looking to filch files. Here's how to avoid a swap-and-run.

This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

"Dad, mind if i borrow the keys to the network tonight? I'll be real careful. I'm just going to swap files with millions of strangers, maybe accidentally download a Trojan or two, and leave a truck-sized hole in our firewall."

It's rarely put to you that way-at home or at work. But that's the likely outcome if an employee installs a peer-to-peer () file-swapping program on one of your PCs. Hackers may be already using your network as if it were their own. In fact, developers of these programs may be using your computing resources as their own as well.

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