About as big as my cock. Consult yo mama's split cervix for further details.
If you use Usenet the chances of anything happening to you for simply downloading (as opposed to uploading) are at this moment in time non-existent, although your ISP may throttle your connection if you connect to it (some are extremely intrusive like that, most aren't). I highly recommend using Usenet instead of P2P when you can. Obviously it costs money to do that, but it pays for itself as soon as you download a single album/movie.
P2P like BitTorrent is more risky for the very fact that it's P2P. You don't know who you're connecting to - it could be a legit user or a snooping IP-logging cunt. Even if you take every precaution you're never really safe, but enough about yo mama's split cervix.
I tend to use BitTorrent or eMule as a last resort when Usenet doesn't have what I want, but even before that I'll try Rapidshare/MegaUpload searches. Here's one of the forums I visit for Rapidshare links:
Use Cryptload to manage the downloads (it automatically inputs the CAPTCHA codes etc.). A lot of the time simply Google-searching something like this will work:
"nude photos of dylan neal" rapidshare OR "nude photos of dylan neal" megaupload [or whatever file host you want]
A lot of the results will be bullshit, but if you persevere you'll eventually find what you need most of the time, and the only risk you run is downloading junk files or viruses. That is, if the file you're downloading is deemed illegal by RapidShare they simply delete it and that's that.
I've actually found some very rare and awesome shit searching in this way, I highly recommend doing it before resorting to P2P.
Windows Vista and later has the UAC (User Account Control) which is essentially the same kind of security measure Linux offers, but it's so fucking intrusive and irritating that I switch it off every time I reinstall. I have
been duped by viruses before, but I haven't had a virus in about 4 years and I think I'm confident enough these days to compute without a bodyguard asking me if I'm sure I want to install a program. That said, if Linux could properly support all of my favourite games and apps I'd probably have migrated to that platform a decade ago, but I'd rather finger Dylan's mama's split cervix than use a Mac, purely as a matter of principle. I mean, God forbid I end up a trendy blonde Swedish TOSSER WHO THINKS HE'S HANDSOMER THAN ME.