This is the most downloaded BitTorrent client, by far. But how safe is uTorrent? Can it offer security when downloading or uploading torrents?
The Safety Problem of Using uTorrent
The uTorrent software is currently safe to use. It isn't associated with any kind of malware or spyware. Using this software does not represent a threat to you or your device.
The problem is that there are entities that try get to you through uTorrent. In other words, the software itself may be safe, but it opens some doors to online risks.
Risks of using uTorrent
As we mentioned before, there are some threats when you use a torrent client, such as uTorrent. The most common risks are:
Infected files and viruses: Torrents are an easy way of sending you a virus. You are literally accepting a file and installing it on your device. Many hackers take advantage of that to infiltrate your system and steal your data, or maybe ruining your machine for fun.
Legal issues: It is known that a large number of files is protected by copyright. Some entities may monitor your torrent activity to see if you are downloading protected content. The result of that may be a DMCA notice, or even a fine from a studio that owns those rights.
Internet Service Provider: Your ISP is another strong candidate to spy on your activity. Some providers are tough with torrenting, and they can even cancel a contract when users download protected content. Other ISPs even sell the data from their users to government institutions or copyright agencies.
How to make uTorrent safe?
Just like any other software that handles torrents, uTorrent is not safe on its own. It needs additional tools to protect the user from online threats that can have serious consequences. Here are some suggestions to be on the safe side.
1. Use Anonymity Software
One of the most popular solutions is using a proxy or a VPN to hide one's identity. The main purpose is to be anonymous, making the user the only one with access to his online activity, including torrent information. In our opinion, a VPN offers more protection and we recommend it over a proxy.
A VPN will work on two fronts. It will replace the user's IP address, making it look like that user is coming from somewhere else. And it will also encrypt the entire Internet connection. That way, no one can see the online activity, not even the Internet Service Provider.
2. Download From Reliable Sources
It is good practice to have a look at the torrent uploader before downloading a file. Try to avoid shady or unknown sources. A good thing to do is to have a look at the comments on the page of the torrent file. If it's a virus, there's usually someone denouncing it.
Pay special attention if you are downloading software. If you are installing
3. Use an Antivirus
This is another tool that can help you blocking or warning you about viruses that someone may try to send you. There are some free ones that do a very decent job. In some rare occasions, a VPN and an antivirus may conflict when used simultaneously. But it's a rare thing and it has a solution.
4. Always Have Your Firewall On
Like the antivirus, a firewall will assist you in blocking malware before it gets to your machine. You probably already have a firewall, just make sure it's turned on.
uTorrent popularity is huge, but unfortunately, it is also a way of being exposed to some online dangers. A software like uTorrent is not safe when used alone. You should use some essential tools simultaneously in order to have an anonymous and secure connection.