3 Ways to Stay Safe while Torrenting

More often than not, you may have heard torrenting talked about in a negative light, as a way to illegally share movies and music, but that's not all there is to it. Actually, torrenting can be useful for sharing larger files, of course legally, such as a presentations in the form of videos and photos, or for downloading out-of-print books or non-copyrighted files.

While unfortunately, because of the bad reputation of torrenting, most internet service providers (ISPs) and probably the government may not support it, even when it's totally legal. Regardless of what you're downloading, if your ISP perceives that you're torrenting files, there's a possibility that your account may be suspended out of fear that you're breaking copyright laws.

Nonetheless, if you're downloading illegal files and the government caught up with you, you may face legal actions and possibly, jailed.

Additionally, you're also open to other risks when torrenting files, as often it means downloading content whose source is unknown, which could be choosing untrustworthy files that will do nothing but load malware unto your machine.

Below are some tips to make sure you stay safe while torrenting:

Pick Safe Contents

Your first step to protecting yourself on torrent sites is to make sure you're sourcing from legitimate sites. But, most importantly, make sure that you're downloading from a link that's been accessed and upvoted recently. There are lots of sites to torrent from, however, the most popular ones are KickassTorrents, the Pirate Bay and Torrentz.

Keep Your Anti-virus Software Updated

This may seem like something that goes without saying, but there are far too many people who don't bother to update their anti-virus software at all. While, it'll suffice that what you're doing is just for a minute or two, but if you contract a virus, you're going to have a heck of a time with it. Don't leave things up to chance, and make sure you have sorted out your PCs protection in case you accidentally download something malicious.

Use Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Rather than guessing which links are safe and hoping for the best, you should use a VPN to torrent securely. If you're unfamiliar with VPNs, they stand between you and the site that you're accessing, giving you a safer connection that won't leak as much of your information and will usually give you a head-up if you're downloading something unsafe. Not only will this protect you against malware, but it'll also hide your IP address, making it far more difficult for your ISP and the government to catch you on what you're doing and penalize you for it.

Is the Use of VPN Illegal?

While in some countries, it is illegal, but that's not the case in most countries, you'll want to make sure you're up-to-date with the local laws of course. But if it's legal to use a VPN in your country, there's no reason not to use it. Truth be told, using a VPN is kind of like closing the blinds on your internet activity. Just because you don't want the neighbors to see what you're doing doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.

Downloading torrent files may not always be the safest thing to do, but with a little foresight and research, you don't need to worry about the possible outcomes. Remember, there are plenty of legal reasons why you are doing what you're doing, so the fact that you're torrenting doesn't raise a red flag. Protect yourself against possible viruses and prying eyes, and you're good to go!
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