The market for pirated software is huge, and consumers easily fall for the trap to get ‘real’ software products at dirt cheap price which helps them do the job. But in the process of adopting pirated software, consumers are at the risk of privacy intrusion, loss of sensitive data, substantial financial losses and costs and a big waste of time trying to fix system problems.
Illegal software is one of the unfortunate staples of the internet, and it’s not going away any time soon. Now, while it might come off as a good thing when downloading Windows 10 software illegally, it’s really not. No amount of savings can protect you from the potential issues facing illegal software.
Consequences of using Pirated Software
Pirated software can be a huge issue for your computer, and also for yourself. If you are the type of person to save private information on your computer, then we suggest staying away from these types of tools, no matter the temptation.
You see, trying to avoid paying for software could cost you more than what you refused to pay, and that would be ironic, right?
Reasons why you should not download illegal software
- It’s just not morally right
- No support
- No new updates
- Likelihood of Malware infection
- You are not supporting the developers
- Possibility of legal action.
1] It’s just not right
Not everyone knows of the law where acquiring illegal software is concerned. Depending on which country you’re living in, you could face jail time or pay a huge fine if you are caught with pirated software in your possession.
These days, a lot of software developers are adding certain tools to their work to determine if persons have paid for the privilege. Without a valid license, then, folks could face the full brunt of the law in the respective countries.
2] No support
This might not be a huge problem since its almost impossible not to find freely available help on the web for popular tools. Still, there are some situations where only the developer can fix, and if you do not have a license key, then you’re out of luck.
3] No new updates
One of the biggest issues with illegally attained software is the fact that for many, the update process is not active. A license key is usually required for the software to go online and automatically download updates.
With a problem like this, the user will be forced to redownload a new version of the pirated software every time there’s an update. They will have to go through the same tiring process of enabling it to work smoothly without hiccups.
4] Virus and Malware
Let’s be honest here. Software downloaded from pirate websites are usually infected with some form of virus or malware. A lot of users of the Windows operating system over the years have had their computers made useless due to these activities.
Yes, Windows 10 is more secure than ever due to Windows Defender. However, anti-virus and anti-malware tools are not perfect. There will come a time when something will slip through the cracks, and you can only hope it’s not ransomware.
5] You are not supporting the developers
In a way, you are stealing the product. Software creators put a lot of effort into their work, therefore, if you really want to take advantage of what they’ve created, then pay for it like any upstanding citizen of the internet. If you’re not sure if the tool is worth using, then how about using the trial version? In many cases, a trial is available. For the instances where this is not the case, then read multiple reviews on the web to come to a complete consensus.
6] Possibility of legal action
If you are found using illegal or stollen software, you could be opening yourself up to legal action and that is something you definitely do not want.
Microsoft had a few years back done a small experiment where it went out to the local markets in Melbourne to purchase counterfeit Windows and Office software from four different sellers. These pirated disks were then put to the test, the results of which were worrying.
Five out of the six Microsoft Office disks were infected with malware while six out of the twelve Windows disks were duds (could not be installed and run). Of the other six disks which could be run and tested successfully, the following was observed:
- Two were infected with malware;
- All the six copies had Windows Update disabled;
- All the six copies had the Windows Firewall rules changed.
Of the total of the twelve counterfeit software copies that could be installed successfully (six Office and six Windows) and tested, the following was affirmed:
- Seven copies (58%) were infected with malware
- A total of 20 instances of six different types of malware code found.
This means serious trouble for users who unsuspectingly work on such counterfeit Microsoft software especially while dealing with confidential information like financial statements, sensitive passwords, and personal media items et al.
Read: What is the Microsoft Compliance Program.
These findings were backed up by an IDC study done then, on The Dangers of Counterfeit Software, commissioned by Microsoft, which found that:
- One in three consumer’s PCs with counterfeit software will be infected with malware;
- Consumers globally will waste US$22 billion and 1.5 billion hours dealing with the issues, such as recovering data, and dealing with identity theft as a result;
- 26% of consumers who installed counterfeit software had their PC infected with a virus;
- 78% of counterfeit software programs downloaded from pirate internet sites or P2P networks installed tracking cookies or spyware.
Counterfeit pirated software might be cheaper, or even free, but it’s not worth the risk to use it!
Go here to learn how to find out if any Microsoft Windows Software is Genuine and to report Counterfeit software.
Post of 2013 updated in 2020