What a horrible thought.
And yet, you may be doing exactly that if your computer contains Peer to Peer software, the type that countless people use to share music files.
As Rick, at See What You Share, has pointed out in the past, unless you configure your Peer to Peer software to permit sharing only music files, anyone with the same software can access all the files on your C Drive.
The possibility of sharing your kids’ pictures with pedophiles is not a bunch of theoretical baloney. Rick has seen instances where the pictures of User A’s children stored in his computer have shown up on the User B’s computer, along with numerous child p0rm files (as is plain from the disgusting file names).
The problem is that many, if not most, of these programs default to permitting the sharing of all files, and they automatically run each time you boot up your computer. The net result is that the same freak who can download pictures of your kids also can download your resume, your tax returns, your correspondence, your credit card and banking information and everything else that you may have stored on your C Drive, including the type of information that makes locating you and or your children a snap.
This is frightening stuff and something that law enforcement authorities and legislators had best begin paying attention to. Law enforcement authorities can and should use Peer to Peer software to locate and prosecute child p0rn collectors and purveyors who prey upon unsuspecting Peer to Peer software users. Legislators can also play a role by requiring the licensors of Peer to Peer software to configure their programs such that they do not default to “all files.” In addition, the software companies should be required to prominently post a warning of the potential consequences of permitting access to “all files.”
However, at the end of the day, the most important tool to combat this problem is education. People who use Peer to Peer software must be made aware that, while they think they are only sharing tunes, they might actually be sharing the entire contents of their computers with countless numbers of people all over the world, many of whom are predatory animals.
Memo to Mainstream Media: Wake up!!!