Recently, the US government finally stepped in and shut down illegal downloading site MegaUpload.com. The site could be used to upload your own personal files to back them up or share with others. The problem with that kind of freedom was that the site turned into a haven for media piracy, often sharing all the latest movies and music before they even hit theaters and stores. Once the government was able to make the case that the owners of MegaUpload were encouraging such behavior and promoting the site with it, they swept in and shut it down. Blaming the site for $500 million in lost profits for the entertainment industry, they arrested 4 of the owners and seized all the servers across the globe that were run by MegaUpload. This was done a day after many of the most popular sites on the Web “blacked out” to protest the controversial SOPA bill.
There are several things that regular computer users can learn from the whole mess:
1. Backup your data to multiple sources!
While MegaUpload was used for a lot of piracy, there were many legitimate users who used it to backup files from work and other important documents. Their data is now gone! You need to save your important data to several different hard locations to supplement these online backups.
2. Choose a reliable online backup service!
Going off of point one, it was foolish for those people to use MegaUpload for important things! It was apparent to anyone using MegaUpload that there was a lot of content that should not have been shared being stored with them. Users should look into sites like Box.com that are meant specifically for storing personal and work files to back them up or share with others. Box even gives you 50GB of free storage when you sign up!
3. Cyberwar is going to be a big part of the future.
Shortly after it was announced that the MU owners were taken into custody, hacker collective “Anonymous” led their largest attack yet against the government and media industry. Not only did members attack and bring down government sites like the FBI and Whitehouse.gov, but when Internet users clicked seemingly harmless links to read more about the attacks, their computers were turned into vessels for the attack as well.
Cyber security is huge, and it’s more important than ever to play it safe with the Internet and your devices. If even the big and mighty government can’t protect themselves, who knows how vulnerable we are?
“MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds” - http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2012/01/file-sharing-megaupload-shut-down-for-piracy-by-feds.html
“DOJ, FBI, entertainment industry sites attacked after piracy arrests”- http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-57362279-245/doj-fbi-entertainment-industry-sites-attacked-after-piracy-arrests/