Half of all British kids use file sharing networks to trade music, according to a new study by the UK-based security company GSS. Most of these kids were aware of the fact that The Pirate Bay isn't quite the same as iTunes, according to a GSS press release:

"When questioned about the legalities of downloading music, nearly all of the children understood that there were legal and illegal methods that could be used to download music. Over half admitted to using P2P software to download music illegally rather than using programs such as iTunes."

Of course, research like this is usually somewhat self-serving: GSS is making its money by helping corporate customers to secure their networks, and the company believes that music-trading teens are the newest danger for corporate IT security.

How so, you might ask? GSS believes that file sharing is a major source of virus infections, referring to the fact that 20 percent of all kids that took part in its survey admitted accidentally downloading viruses from file sharing networks. Of course, the tricky part about viruses is that they tend to spread, so all it takes is a parent and a USB drive. From the press release:

"An organisation's security is only as strong as its weakest link, and the home PC may be a huge threat to an organisation's data."

So what's the lesson to be learned from this? Maybe that your kids should have their own PCs?

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