Personal Computer Safety at Tax Time

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DCIA Working Group Offers Top Tips for P2P Users.

These kinds of improvements demonstrate enormous progress from earlier file-sharing programs and underscore the industry's priority on putting consumer safety first. We also encourage users to visit the FTC's P2P Security site for more information

Especially during tax-filing season, the Inadvertent Sharing Protection Working Group (ISPG), sponsored by the Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) (http://www.dcia.info) reminds users of personal computers (PCs) and other networked devices to keep their sensitive data - such as income tax returns - private and secure.

The Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) On Guard Online (http://www.onguardonline.gov) offers seven basic steps to ensure computer security: 1) protect your personal information; 2) know who you're dealing with; 3) use security software; 4) keep your operating system and browser up-to-date; 5) keep your passwords safe, secure, and strong; 6) back-up important files; and 7) learn what to do in an "e-mergency."

For consumers using file-sharing programs, the ISPG adds an eighth step: for the best performance and the greatest safety, upgrade to the most current version of your favorite P2P software.

Thanks to the Internet, access to information and entertainment has been made faster and easier than ever before. But online anonymity can also give online scammers and identity thieves access to PCs and their data. Being "on guard online" helps consumers protect their information, their computers, and their money. To be safer and more secure online, these practices should become part of everyone's online routine.

"During the past year, leading file-sharing companies have made substantial software improvements, in compliance with ISPG Principles published in 2008, to help protect users against inadvertently sharing personal files. We urge people to update to these new versions, which offer many other very attractive features as well," said DCIA CEO Marty Lafferty.

For example, LimeWire 5 (http://www.limewire.com), the new version of the most popular file-sharing program, by default does not allow users to share sensitive file types like spreadsheets or documents.

The new LimeWire also allows users to clearly see what is being shared at all times, and even to control with whom they share each file that they choose to share.

"These kinds of improvements demonstrate enormous progress from earlier file-sharing programs and underscore the industry's priority on putting consumer safety first. We also encourage users to visit the FTC's P2P Security site for more information," added Lafferty.

About the DCIA
The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) is a non-profit trade organization focused on commercial development of peer-to-peer (P2P), cloud computing, file-sharing, and related distributed computing technologies.

DCIA Membership is organized into three Groups: Content, Operations, and Platform. The DCIA conducts working groups and special projects, such as the P3P Working Group, (P3PWG), P4P Working Group (P4PWG), Inadvertent Sharing Protection Working Group (ISPG), P2P Digital Watermark Working Group (PDWG), Consumer Disclosures Working Group (CDWG), P2P PATROL, and the P2P Revenue Engine (P2PRE). It also publishes the weekly online newsletter DCINFO.

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Kelly Larabee
410-476-7965

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