Thanks to all those who have sent me info about other sharing sites, and especially to all those who have reassured me about using 4shared! I did a lot of research about the issues, including trying out a few of the other sites available. However I still found 4shared to be the easiest and quickest (not to mention free!) to use.
From what I can gather the problems are with the ads and cookies and NOT on the downloads themselves. So if your computer is thoroughly protected and you don't click on any ad links you should be safe.
Thanks again to all my loyal followers and subscribers!